Practice development: collaborative working in social care
Appendix 2: Sample practitioner brief
The collaborative methodology has been adapted from the NHS model for social care. The aim is to test how practitioners use evidence from research and practice to support practice development.
This collaborative project will focus on [insert focus group e.g. people assessed who are over the age of 85 and living in their own homes]. It will aim to reflect the diversity of the population, for example by including people with dementia and people from black and ethnic minority groups.
The aim of the project is to [insert aim/s e.g. to develop an outcomes focus to assessment]. This in itself may require changes in practitioner behaviour, attitudes and practices. Practitioners will have the opportunity to focus thinking on the specific barriers that they face in implementing an outcomes focus to their work. Assessment and review are small links in a chain of events and the introduction of an outcomes focus may lead to the identification of barriers and necessary changes in other parts of the process, for example at the commissioning and service provision levels. By replacing anecdotal evidence with concrete data, practitioners will be better placed to influence change at different levels in their organisation. It is therefore important that senior managers support the project from the outset and are committed to implementing the changes identified as necessary.
We will be working with [insert names of participant teams/individuals] and for each organisation we will identify:
- a team
- an advisor – a designated practitioner from the team to advise the project coordinator
- a project co-ordinator – to collate the data.
The project will begin [insert start date] and data collection will run for [insert length of project].
Taking part in this project will involve the following:
- A half-day meeting for all participants will be held in order to answer any questions that they may have and to ensure that they are clear about definitions and roles.
- A baseline measure of what is happening now will be established from existing knowledge and data, for example case files
- As a practitioner in one of the identified teams you may be asked to collect some data. We will make this as easy as possible so that it will only take a short time to record the data for each assessment or review that is included in the project.
- Project coordinators will collate the data.
- Meetings will be held every two months for project coordinators and advisors to discuss findings and any subsequent changes in practice.
- A final half-day event for all teams will be held in order to evaluate the project process and findings.
This project will give our organisation the opportunity to:
- use the available evidence to develop services
- help increase our knowledge about practice improvement for social care
- help staff to improve their skills in practice-based research and evaluation
- identify good practice to inform our future work.