It had been identified through various forums and networks that there was a lack of understanding around the ethos of co-production & partnership working. Partnership members felt that they would like the opportunity to improve relationships with other organisations, extend community connections and as most organisations are extremely busy they would like to try and achieve this all in one go. So we had to look at how this could be encapsulated within a one-day event.
Action learning (AL) is an approach that is widely recognised as having great value for leaders and managers who are working with complex issues. Participants do not simply discuss theoretical issues, but bring real challenges to the group, to first understand them better and then to find how to take skilful action. AL fits with both action research and the experimental approaches required for complex issues, as well as with PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) frameworks for taking proactive improvement initiatives.
A learning set is a group of eight to ten key members who agree to meet for an agreed number of facilitated sessions to reflect on how and what they are doing in the face of complex challenges. These meetings are confidential and require a willingness to question their assumptions. The aim is learning not performance management and, facilitated by an external third party, focuses on tackling the real work issues of the participants. It involves reflection, analysis and taking specific action. Group learning involves drawing from each other’s issues and action plans for what are often similar or shared problems.
The project was aiming to find out information about the sleep quality of patients with dementia and their carers. There was interest in this area because previous research has found that sleep disturbances in this group have been linked to poorer physical health outcomes; carer physical and emotional role limitations; mental health health-related quality of life. Sleep disturbance associated with caring for someone with dementia has also been reported to be a major reason for institutionalisation.
To provide the opportunity for informal carers to learn more about palliative care, what it may mean for them as carers and the support they could access and receive when caring for someone who has been identified as being palliative.
The evidence base to inform the allocation of the Change Fund was acknowledged to be weak in many areas, and a particular gap was identified in relation to the factors that build and maintain the resilience of older people in the community. Making it Clear was commissioned to build evidence in this area and also to apply the findings in a practical way.