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Connecting People Intervention Study

Purpose

A multi-site pilot to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Connecting People Intervention, aimed to promote well-being and social participation. Social care workers have skills in supporting people to develop social relationships and engage in their local communities, but there is little evidence about which approaches are the most effective or best value for money. This intervention was developed following the original Connecting People study, which ran from 2010 – 2012.

Timescale

2012 - 2014

Research team

Meredith Newlin (and formerly Hannah Reidy and Samantha Treacy) at SCWRU; Martin Webber (Principal Investigator) and Tracey Hawkes, University of York; Sharon Howarth, David Morris and Ian Norris, University of Central Lancashire.

Funding

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Social Care Research

Methods

The study had four components: a systematic review of the research and examples of good social care practice in England helping people to participate in communities and enhance their well-being; development of guidance for workers supporting adults with a learning disability or mental health problem; development of a fidelity scale to measure the extent workers follow the intervention guidance; a pilot study with 15 social care agencies across England testing the Intervention.

Findings

Complex social interventions can be modelled, articulated and evaluated. When fully implemented, the Connecting People Intervention model improves social outcomes, at no greater cost, by health and care workers working differently. Barriers to social engagement for people with mental health problems or a learning disability exist within communities. Performance targets, service reconfigurations, public sector cuts and wider austerity environment hamper innovation.

Outputs and impact

Three systematic reviews and a series of peer review articles have been published or are in press reporting quantitative and qualitative results. Training materials are published online: http://connectingpeoplestudy.net/training/ . We aim to ensure a significant impact on social care by sharing findings about effective and cost-effective ways of improving social participation and well-being widely through the sector.

Report

Webber, M., Morris, D., Newlin, M., Howarth, S. & Treacy, S. (2014) 'Connecting people: an exploratory study of how health and social care workers help people to develop and maintain relationships', NIHR School for Social Care Research Findings Report, London: NIHR School for Social Care Research.

Articles

Newlin, M. & Webber, M. (2015, online) 'Effectiveness of knowledge translation of social interventions across economic boundaries: a systematic review', European Journal of Social Work.

Webber, M., Reidy, H., Ansari, D., Stevens, M. & Morris, D. (2015, online) 'Developing and modeling complex social interventions: introducing the Connecting People Intervention', Research on Social Work Practice.

Howarth, S., Morris, D., Newlin, M. & Webber, M. (2014, online) 'Health and social care interventions which promote social participation for adults with learning disabilities: a review', British Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Webber, M., Reidy, H., Ansari, D., Stevens, M. & Morris, D. (2014, online) 'Enhancing social networks: a qualitative study of health and social care practice in UK mental health services', Health & Social Care in the Community.

Presentations

Newlin, M. (2014) 'Social and community interventions which enhance connectivity and wellbeing', World Association of Social Psychiatry, Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, 15 November.

Newlin, M. (2014) 'Participatory mental health research: working collaboratively with stakeholders', Researchers in Development Network (RiDNet) Conference, University of Leeds, 12 November.

Newlin, M. (2014) 'Community mental health research: perspectives from working collaboratively with stakeholders in Sierra Leone', How do we assess the quality of mental health social care? Perspectives from different stakeholders, King's College London, 8 October.

Newlin, M. (2014) 'The Connecting People Intervention: Findings of a Quasi-Experimental Study', Community-Based Commissioning in Social Care, London Borough of Lambeth, 2 October.

Newlin, M. (2014) 'Community based participatory mental health research: Enhancing impact in research process', Early Career Researcher Knowledge Exchange and Impact Residential, Birmingham, 20 July.

Newlin, M. & Reidy, R. (2012) 'Connecting People Intervention Study: translating health and social care interventions to low- and middle-income countries', King’s Centre for Global Health Seminar, King's College London, 14 November.

Newlin, M. & Webber, M. (2012) 'Social care interventions that promote social participation and well-being: a mixed methods study', NIHR School for Social Care Research Annual Conference, London School of Economics, 14 May.

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