Monthly Archives: June 2018

Creating knowledge that is good enough

This post is taken from a presentation that Susan Hampshaw and I gave at the UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum this year.

KMB forum image

Lynne is an equality and diversity manager in the NHS.  Her NIHR funded Knowledge Mobilisation Research Fellowship is about mobilising knowledge to reduce ethnic health inequalities.  This talk is about one of her fellowship case studies – work with Susan Hampshaw from the Public Health team at Doncaster Council.

The Evidence and Ethnicity in Commissioning research project found many barriers to mobilising knowledge about ethnicity, including that people advocating for change in this area often lack skills in finding and using evidence.  Doncaster Council’s decision to assess the health needs of local Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people gave Lynne and Susan the opportunity to work together.

Over a few months and supported by Lynne, the public health team  had brought together evidence of health needs and formally presented this at the Health and Well Being Board.  At the board, we talked about this as an on-going piece of work with work plan and that a next step would be work on this project aiming to examine inequalities for people of different ethnicities using Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT).   IAPT is national health service providing counselling to people with depression and anxiety.

We knew this was an important issue for local people and we were keen to find a way of identifying, understanding and acting on evidence about uneven access to and outcomes from services. We felt that if we could develop a simple, methodical approach we could then roll this out to other aspects of health and wellbeing.

We know, that there’s an uneven playing field in this area.  The experiential knowledge brought by BME people is generally undervalued.  Policy makers lack knowledge about inequalities linked to ethnicity and lack confidence in how to effectively intervene.  It is important to find a way to mobilise this knowledge so that everyone involved can readily understand it.  People working in public health are often the gatekeepers of this data and the way they talk about it and present it can act as a barrier to its use.  We sought out a data specialist (Laurie Mott) who could help us avoid this trap and help us use the data as a starting point for conversations about what it might mean.

Lynne worked in Sheffield and Doncaster, back and forth, gradually developing a methodology to describe and compare for local women and men of different ethnicities the need for psychological therapy, usage of those services and outcomes for people who did you use them.

picking brains

“My fellowship gave me the time and opportunities to pick the brains of professionals working in other fields.  I learnt from researchers how to think more clearly about exactly what I wanted to know and from data analysts like Laurie, how to calculate statistical significance.”

We held a workshop with local people, community organisations and staff working in the IAPT teams.   Ellie from Leeds GATE , a local Third Sector organisation, facilitated, using their roads, bridges and tunnels model to explore the community assets of local people and barriers to accessing services.

We did this as a piece of co-production work, aiming to create a level playing field where everyone’s knowledge is equally valued.  We worked on the premise that no one party has the knowledge to improve this situation.

We’re well on the way to developing a methodology to create knowledge that is “good enough” – more robust and accurate that the results of Google searches that equality and diversity practitioners often resort to; also a method that doesn’t need experienced researchers, qualified data analysts or three years’ worth of work.

We’ve brought together different types of knowledge, shared and developed skills. We’ve spanned team boundaries to do both parts of Ian Graham’s Knowledge to Action model – we’ve created knowledge as depicted in his funnel and we’re currently following his implementation cycle.  We’re making connections with a view to sharing our learning and methodology across the NHS and Public Health systems.

We held a workshop with local people, community organisations and staff working in the IAPT teams.   Ellie from Leeds GATE , a local Third Sector organisation, facilitated, using their roads, bridges and tunnels model to explore the community assets of local people and barriers to accessing services.

We did this as a piece of co-production work, aiming to create a level playing field where everyone’s knowledge is equally valued.  We worked on the premise that no one party has the knowledge to improve this situation.

We’re well on the way to developing a methodology to create knowledge that is “good enough” – more robust and accurate that the results of Google searches that equality and diversity practitioners often resort to; also a method that doesn’t need experienced researchers, qualified data analysts or three years’ worth of work.

We’ve brought together different types of knowledge, shared and developed skills. We’ve spanned team boundaries to do both parts of Ian Graham’s Knowledge to Action model – we’ve created knowledge as depicted in his funnel and we’re currently following his implementation cycle.  We’re making connections with a view to sharing our learning and methodology across the NHS and Public Health systems.

transformer

So, in short this was a project this was a project about transformation! We aimed to transform the data we had on mental health, ethnicity and gender and turn it into usable knowledge that we could act upon.