We’re looking forward to our next knowledge exchange event on May 9th 2013 at David Hume Tower in the University of Edinburgh. We’ve arranged the different PROP research projects into three panels: service review, service improvement and experiences of older people. This event gives us a chance to share the findings from these projects and develop strategies for the use of this research in practice and policy development.
We’re also delighted to share a set of postcards which capture the key findings from each of the projects. We hope these will be a useful knowledge exchange tool which the practitioners and their organisations can use to prompt discussion of this research. More details to follow on these!
We have written a short briefing note which captures some of our on-going learning about practitioner-research. Its contents are based on evaluations from previous practitioner-research programmes: (1) Engaging with Involuntary Service Users in Social Work project carried out by The University of Edinburgh in 2010, and (2) Older People, User Involvement and Families and Relationships carried out by The University of Edinburgh in 2008. These evaluation materials from these projects have been summarized by Catherine-Rose Stocks-Rankin, the research fellow on the PROP project.
The material in this brief is indebted to practitioners involved in those projects who gave thoughtful feedback on their experience with the practitioner-research programme. For more information, please see the related publications and resources at the end of the document, particularly the article ‘A collaborative approach to defining the usefulness of impact’ by Heather Wilkinson, Michael Gallagher and Mark Smith.
We have uploaded some audio clips from the different presentations at last week’s PROP Knowledge Exchange event. Links are available under each practitioner-researcher bio. Please follow the links here: Abenet Tsegai and Grand Dugdale, Anne Scott, Billie Morrow, Gabrielle Colston, and Janice Caine.
We had our first knowledge exchange event on Monday, October 22nd, and by all accounts it was a great success! The event focused on two key themes: the experience of doing research as a practitioner and the eight research projects which are underway.
The first set of presentations centered on the research process. The practitioners grounded their perspectives in a variety of images, each of which gives some insight into the opportunities and challenges one faces when undertaking a new piece of research. In addition to the ripple image here, we were shown pictures of an iceberg, a nebula, a mountain climber and the Tardis from Doctor Who! Each of these suggests the depth and complexity of the research process.
We also had a discussion about the role of research in organisations. We were particularly interested in how and why research might be used when planning and delivering health and social care to older people. The key themes from this discussion were (1) improving services for older people (2) using resources better and (3) fostering change and development.
After a short break, we joined the practitioners again for a second set of presentations. This time, the focus was on their rationale for doing research. We learned about the motivation for doing a piece of research, the opportunities which being a practitioner has brought to the research process and their aspirations for creating improvement in the delivery of health and social care for older people.
A summary of the different practitioner research programmes can be downloaded here. Further detail on each of the practitioners-researchers can be found on our blog here. And more information on our knowledge exchange plans can be found here.
Our first knowledge exchange event is scheduled for this coming Monday, October 22nd from 12:30-4:30 at IRISS in Glasgow. We’re keen to share some of the early insights about practitioner-led inquiry and hope that you can join us for an informal discussion about the eight PROP research projects.
This afternoon session will give you the opportunity to engage with new research, discuss the use of research and evidence in health and social care, and learn new things about practitioner-led inquiry. An overview of the day and map to the venue can be found here.
Claire Lightowler has written a really nice blog post about co-produced, cooperative, research strategies. Check it out here!
IRISS has created a really wonderful video on action research in organisations. The focus is the improvement of public services. It uses the example of children’s services and focuses on a piece of action research conducted of Cedar (Children experiencing domestic abuse recovery). I think it’s a useful way to think through some of the challenges and benefits that we might face on the PROP project. For more detail, see the post on IRISS’ website here.
At each training event, we will try to capture some of the immediate impressions of the training as well as practitioners’ thoughts on their research practice more broadly. So far, this conversation has occurred through an informal round-robin where practitioners are given the opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities – highs and lows – of the research.
Here are a selection of the comments from the first training event:
Our round-robin highlighted some of the anxieties about beginning a new research project. Concerns were raised about the size of the project and the time and effort required to do it – and do it well. There was also some discussion about “just wanting to get started” even if it was “daunting”. And some questions about research access and ethical clearance to do research, i.e. “how to get to the first base”.
When discussion focused on specific research projects, there tended to be an interest in “finding the best tool for practice” or “the best way of supporting” older people and carers. Some of us wondered whether “we would get the answers” and others asked “what if they are answers people don’t want to hear”.
Overall, there was a sense that we’re “not alone” – that PROP is an open and honest space where we feel “we’re all in the same boat”. There was also some discussion about the importance of looking forward to the “end products” so that we can think about where we want to be when we finish and what we want to achieve.
We have now set the date for our first knowledge change event in the PROP project – October 22, 2012. This is an afternoon event running from approximately 13:00-16:00. It will be hosted at IRISS in Glasgow. More detail to follow shortly.
In the meantime, please check out our overview of the Knowledge Exchange activities which we carry out over the course of this project here.
IRISS has produced a list of useful resources for searching and accessing existing research which may be useful to the PROP practitioners. The IRISS Learning Exchange is a very useful place to search for information on key topics in health and social care.
There are also a number of different examples of project outputs and different forms of dissemination. A quick browse through this might help practitioner-researchers to think about how learning from research can be exchanged. When the projects are complete, we may want to think about adding our own section to the Learning Exchange.