All research records related prevention examples and research
BUCKLAND Leonora, FIENNES Caroline
To investigate what may need to happen to help mental health charities make more evidence-informed decisions, this report examines how UK charities delivering mental health services currently produce, synthesise, disseminate and use evidence within their organisation. Semi-structured qualitative interviews with 12 mental health service delivery charities of varying sizes and qualitative interviews with four mental health sector experts were carried out. The project used an inclusive definition of evidence comprising: evaluation evidence, user feedback; practitioner evidence and contextual evidence (e.g., research into the prevalence or type of need). In relation to the production of evidence, the report found that mental health charities have focused primarily on producing practitioner and stakeholder evidence. Although larger charities are beginning to carry out more evaluation research, lack of resources remain a problem. It also identified little evidence produced by the charities interviewed being routinely synthesised or included in systematic reviews; weak dissemination channels; and little use of third-party evidence when making decisions. Although the number of charities interviewed was small, the report identifies some important gaps including: the need for more rigorous evaluation research about the effectiveness of charities’ interventions; the potential to make more use of existing the academic literature; and, for more evidence to be actively disseminated within the sector to enable greater learning. Recommendations to improve evidence systems are also included.
NHS CLINICAL COMMISSIONERS
Presents four case studies to show how Clinical Commissioning Groups and their partners are commissioning early intervention initiatives in mental health services. The case studies cover: Hounslow’s Friends for Life programme, which is helping to boost the resilience of young people; Salford’s early intervention in psychosis; Coventry and Warwickshire’s maternal mental health service; Kernow’s suicide liaison service. The case studies outline progress to date and highlight the value of the intervention. The paper also provides six top tips for commissioners early intervention services in mental health.
Evaluation of the Wigan Community Link Worker (CLW) service, which was set up as a pilot in 2015 to improve the health and wellbeing of local people by helping them to access community based support and activities. It also helps those referred to use their skills and experience through volunteering. The evaluation, commissioned by Wigan Borough CCG and Wigan Council, aims to gain a better understanding of how the service is working, who is using it and what difference it is making to clients and referring services. The evaluation draws on an analysis of referral data, case studies and qualitative interviews with commissioners, people running services, patients, community link workers and representatives of voluntary and community organisations. Findings report high levels of commitment to the service from stakeholders, with health and care professionals valuing the service and promoting it to colleagues and clients. A total of 784 clients were supported between January 2015 and March 2016. Over half of these clients were over 55, with social isolation and mental health issues the most recurrent presenting issues, along with benefits and financial advice. The service is also used by number of carers. Client stories suggest that CLWs help them to feel supported and able to contribute in their community. The evaluation also found anecdotal evidence of reduced pressure on mainstream services. Recommendations include that the service retains it wide referral and low threshold for access; development of the skills of CLWs as relational workers through peer support and reflective practice; and enlists CLWs, clients and health professionals in co-designing and co-producing the service in the future.
Final evaluation of the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Grant programme, designed to encourage the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to develop innovative approaches to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst Manchester residents aged 50 plus. The programme was commissioned and funded by North, Central and South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and administered and managed by Manchester Community Central (Macc). It awarded nine large (£10,000-£50,000) and eighteen small grants (less than £10,000) to local VCS organisations across Manchester's three Clinical Commissioning Group areas. This report provides an overview of the programme and discusses evidence of impact in the following areas: reducing social isolation and loneliness; improving confidence and independence; and improving health, wellbeing and quality of life. It also looks at learning from the project around identifying socially isolated and lonely people and engaging with, and retaining, people's involvement in initiatives. The evaluation reported increased social connections, with almost all respondents (97 per cent) meeting new people through the project; the creation of new friendships; increased quality of life; and improvements in self-reported health. It demonstrates that VCS-led model are capable of delivering desired outcomes and also highlights the importance of effective partnership arrangements between VCS umbrella organisations and CCG funders. Individual case studies showcasing learning and impact evidence from the individual projects are included in the appendices.
COLLEY Kathryn, et al
Scottish research study to examine the barriers preventing older people, including older people with long-term health conditions and disabilities, from accessing outdoor recreation opportunities. The research involved two stages: an investigation of the spatial distribution of older people using small-scale geographical units and semi-structured interviews with 27 older people across three case study sites of varying levels of urbanity and access to different types of green/blue natural resources. Results from the spatial distribution analysis found that remote areas and isolated small towns had higher concentrations of older people and older people with health problems or disabilities. It also identifies that the negative impacts on the well-being and resilience of local communities are also likely to be stronger in remote areas, with challenges in accessing medical and care facilities. The case study work found the barriers to participation in outdoor recreation by older people are multiple and inter-related. Key categories of barriers identified in the interviews were: poor health and (im)mobility; lack of or reduced social connections; fragility and vulnerability; lack of motivation and time commitments; safety; and weather and season. Key implications for policy and practice identified from the research include: for interventions to address the multiple and interrelated barriers preventing older people from participating in outdoor recreation, using integrated and holistic approaches involving different organisations; for ‘green prescribing’ by doctors and medical professionals to be integrated with existing initiatives (eg walking groups) which offer opportunities for overcoming social and motivational barriers; and for interventions to identify ways of providing transport access to outdoor spaces to older people.
This report, commissioned by Friends of the Elderly, looks at the key factors likely to shape the future of older-age loneliness in the UK over the next 15 years. It identifies the challenges and opportunities in reducing loneliness and highlights possible interventions and preventative measures. The report draws on existing research resources, in-depth interviews with six older people who lived alone, and data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Government Actuaries' Department forecasts on age, marital status and partnership status. Areas discussed include: the implications of demographic change; wealth and work; leisure and social life; family and friends; the use of new technologies for contact and communication; and independence and connectedness at home. Key findings include: a connection between low contact with family members and loneliness, a link between poverty and loneliness; and the potential of technology to reduce loneliness.
Evaluation of the Tinder Foundation and NHS England Widening Digital Participation programme, which set out to improve the digital health skills of people in hard-to-reach communities in order to help them take charge of their own heath. It aimed to ensure that health inequalities resulting from digital exclusion do not become more pronounced. The programme involved: building a Digital Health Information network of local providers who provided face-to-face support to help people improve their skills; developing digital health information; supporting people to access health information online and learn how to complete digital medical transactions; and funding Innovation Pathfinder organisations to test innovative approaches to help people improve their digital health skills. This report evaluates the key figures and learning from the final year of the project and also provides a summary of the key findings across the three-year programme. It discusses the scale and impact of behaviour change on frontline services; priority audiences participating, including people with dementia and people with learning disabilities; and new models of care. The evaluation found that during the duration of the project 221,941 people were trained to use digital health resources. This has resulted in more people using the internet as their first port of call for information, and potential savings from reduced GP and A&E visits. The report estimates that the combined annual cost savings of reduced visits to GPs and A&E comes to approximately £6 millon against an NHS investment of £810,000 in year three.
PARKINSON Andy, BUTTRICK Jamie
Evidence review, undertaken through a joint project between the Low Commission and the Advice Services Alliance, to examine the impact of social welfare advice services on health outcomes. The review outlines key findings from 140 research studies and also provides an overview of 58 integrated health and welfare advice services. Advice services covered in the review included those providing advice on debts, welfare benefits, housing, employment and discrimination advice. The results of the evidence review are discussed across the following areas: health inequalities; debt and mental health; primary care; secondary and tertiary care, including mental health services. The analysis finds that welfare advice provided in health context results in better individual health and well-being and lower demand for health services. Positive effects on health and welbeing include: lower stress and anxiety, better sleeping patterns, more effective use of medication, smoking cessation, and improved diet and physical activity. It shows how the right welfare advice in the right place produces real benefits for patient health especially where advice services work directly with the NHS and care providers, and presents evidence to show that early and effective advice provision reduces demand on the NHS. It provides recommendations for NHS, Local Authority Commissioners, Health and Wellbeing Boards, and the advice sector for the use welfare advice services to improve health outcomes, address health inequalities and reduce demand on the NHS.
APTELIGEN, et al
An evaluation of Prevention Matters, a whole county change programme designed to facilitate access to frontline community services and groups in Buckinghamshire. The programme targets those whose needs are below the substantial need threshold for adult social care, building on a referral system, rather than on direct support. Fourteen Community Practice Workers (CPWs) are aligned to the seven GP localities in Buckinghamshire, and lead on the referral process, from first contact with the users to final review and exit. The CPWs are supported by seven Community Links Officers who ensure that the necessary resources are available in the community to meet users’ needs, including identification of opportunities to build new capacity. A wide network of frontline community services and groups provides direct face-to-face support to users through activities such as befriending, transport, fitness, and lunch clubs. The evaluation found that the potential to maintain independence and delay access to adult social care may be less than originally intended as a result of the complexity of the needs and frailty of some programme users. Nonetheless, nearly half of all programme users reported improvement in their satisfaction with the level of social contact they had and a third of programme users reported that their quality of life was better at the review stage compared to the time of their baseline assessment. In addition, the evaluation concluded that the programme has been particularly successful at facilitating access to information. The analysis indicates that the benefits associated with the programme are £1,000 per user per year, including the value of the improvements in health suggested by the impact evaluation (£500), and estimated spill-over effects on the need for informal social care (£492). The report also highlights the positive impact on organisations and systems, and increased volunteering capacity and sets out a series of recommendations to strengthen the delivery of the programme.
An online resource pack which brings together a collection resources to help promote the importance of arts and creative activities for older residents in care homes. The resource aims to support care staff to plan and run creative arts sessions and help then work with professional artists. It includes a film where three care homes and their residents share their experience of participating in the arts and the difference it has made to living life well. It also includes ‘recipe cards’ for five different arts forms created by artists for care staff. These cards provide ideas and methods to help care staff to run a variety of creative arts sessions within care homes. They cover creative dance, writing poetry, facilitating a singing session, print making and salt dough. The pack also contains guidance on working with professional artists. The pack was developed in partnership with Luminate and a national working group which included representatives from Creative Scotland, the voluntary and independent sectors, Scottish Care, the Scottish Poetry Library, NHS and professional artists.