Social Change and Wellbeing (SCWB)

Wellbeing, Ageing and Social Care Research Group

RESEARCH STRAND 2: IMPROVING HEALTH, SOCIAL CARE AND VOLUNTARY SERVICES: ISSUES OF INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY

Members: Baines, Fairhurst, Kagan, Lawthom, Loggenberg, Sixsmith

Contact person: Judith Sixsmith

Projects within this strand cohere around understanding, experiencing and evaluating public services and voluntary services in health and social care. Service areas including older people, children and young people, people with learning disabilities, and asylum seekers and refugees. The approach to evaluation aims to ensure that the voices of all participants are heard irrespective of power or status.

Much of this work is in the tradition of ‘action research’, meaning research that has an explicit focus on bringing about improvement. Specific policy concerns include inter-professional care, access to services for marginalised groups, developing service capacity, and challenging organisational and professional boundaries.

Many projects are based in the NW region, where RHISC has a longstanding track record of collaboration with community and civic partners. National funding (eg from the ESRC under the knowledge transfer agenda) recognises the commitment of researchers to working closely with service providers and users to translate social research into policy and practice.

PROJECT AREAS

(a) Prevention, Intervention and Service Evaluation
Current public policy concerning service provision focuses on issues of prevention and intervention. Moreover, opportunities, and requirements, for partnerships are increasing across the public sector. In this research area, the value and effective contributions that partnership work can make to service provision are subject to examination alongside complex multi-level and multi-method service evaluation which lies at the heart of applied research in complex organisational environments.

Project example:
The Short Term Team Project Evaluation.
Funded by Manchester PCT. Interim report available. This project and it’s evaluation extends the prevention agenda through a newly developed local authority service to provide short term interventions to vulnerable residents who would not otherwise be eligible for council support.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Manchester
’s Partnerships for Older People Evaluation: Turning a patchwork into a network. Funded by Manchester City Council. The Department of Health funded a number of local authorities and their health, private and voluntary sector partners to create new services to improve the health and quality of life outcomes for older people. The evaluation of the Manchester POPP has focused on the effectiveness of the partnership and the value of low level interventive services across Manchester , as well as a dedicated capacity building enterprise and the development of a Gateway to Manchester ’s services for older people.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Pathways project
This project evaluated the use of the Arts to promote well-being and creative neighbourhood renewal. Funded by LIME.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Evaluation of condom vending service for young people
(2003) Central Manchester Primary Care Trust (CMPCT) funded project.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Contraception: condoms and young people
CMPCT funded project. Key Contact:
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
An exploration of the psycho-social impact of participating in a holistic therapies programme for people with Parkinson’s Disease
. This project, funded by the Parkinson’s Disease Society aims to evaluate the psycho-social impact of participating in a holistic therapies programme.
Contact: Diane Loggenburg. Final report available.

Project example:
Framework for Multi-agency Environments (
FAME ) Learning & Evaluation. FAME was one of the Local Government On-Line national projects sponsored by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). Within FAME there were six local partnerships, each tasked with improving the co-ordination of a different set of services (for example, to vulnerable old people or disabled children) through ICT enabled exchange of information. The Learning & Evaluation worked with the project teams, service providers and other stakeholders to explore lessons learned from FAME’s successes and setbacks.
Contact Sue Baines.

Research projects under development

Understanding falls prevention in Parkinson’s Disease .
Contact: Diane Loggenburg.

(b) Inclusion, exclusion and service provision
In this research grouping, research focuses on social inequalities in relation to health and social care. Issues of gender, ethnicity and age are highlighted here and the experiences of people marginalised within social systems are voiced.

Project example:
Health Experiences and Access to Health Services: Understanding the Case of
Manchester ’s Somali and Iraqi Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Funded by Manchester PCT. This qualitative study seeks to reveal the ways in which Refugees and asylum seekers experience their health and negotiate health systems, paying particular attention to issues of religion, ethnicity, gender and culture.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example : Social Capital, health and gender. Funded by the Health Development Agency. This qualitative study was conducted in a deprived community in the North of England in which the notions of social networks, trust, reciprocity and participation were understand within a gendered health perspective.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Men’s health talk
funded by the Health Development Agency Final report available. Analysis of in-depth interview data in which younger and older men’s ways of doing health talk are highlighted.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Young men’s health and group participation.
Health Development Agency (HDA) funded project. An exploration of young men ‘doing’ health in the context of a group meeting house an a deprived estate in the North of England.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Children's Services Directories.
Project Sponsor: North East Centre of Excellence. This was a scoping study for developing a regional approach to providing directories of information about the services available to children, young people and their families. The team employed a range of research techniques (focus groups, semi-structured interviews, observation) to collect a body of data about the use of, and attitudes to, service directories. This material informed the creation of objects (scenarios, simulations and storyboards) for use as tools to animate the engagement and understanding of users and providers of services.
Contact Sue Baines.

(c) User Involvement and Capacity Building
These projects support the participation of marginalised groups (eg people with learning disabilities) in the planning, design and evaluation of services that affect them. The portfolio of methods includes community events through which service users and carers contribute to and own the research. A common objective is the development of shared resources and capabilities that will be resilient to change.

Project example:
The changing Landscape of service provision: Understanding experiences of people with long term neurological condition’s and health and social care professionals.
This project takes a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach, grounded in the social model of disability, to mapping out current service provision for people with LTNC in Manchester and understanding the ways in which both those with LTNC’s and their carers access and experience services within a changing landscape of service provision. The work is driven by involvement of service users and carers.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Collaborative Learning Disability research
. This project, funded through a number of different sources, seeks to develop research understanding and capability within learning disability services by linking services and small scale research activities throughout the North West of England. Of particular interest are the ways in which organisational and professional boundaries can be broken down to enable new practices to emerge.
Contact Carolyn Kagan.

Project example:
Capacity
Building for evaluation in the community and voluntary sectors . The project funded by MAST Health Action Zone sought to identify the needs of voluntary and community sector groups for evaluation and to develop capacity building workshops.
Contact Carolyn Kagan.

Project example:
Broadening the base of the volunteer workforce – ESRC Impact Grant.
This project was funded in order to support further dissemination and user engagement of a previously funded project ‘Doing one’s duty: a case study of volunteering in a deprived community’.
Contact Sue Baines.

Project example:
Delivering public services in the mixed economy of welfare: Putting research into Practice.
ESRC Impact Grant (Directive). This project was awarded in response to a call for a study that would promote practical learning from research on the theme of public service delivery by the voluntary and community sector (VCS).
Contact Sue Baines.

Research projects under development

Integrated services project evaluation ( submitted with Manchester City Council as part of a bid to the Social Exclusion Unit).
Contact Judith Sixsmith.