Mersey Care delivers findings to service users

Mersey Care has shared findings from work completed with CLAHRC NWC to an audience of service users, staff and public advisers.

A service evaluation of Mersey Care’s Life Rooms commenced in January 2018, titled The Life Rooms: Does a non-clinical response to mental distress work? as part of the CLAHRC NWC Partner Priority Programme (PPP).

The Life Rooms compromises of a number of services including a recovery college, volunteering services and pathway support.

It offers a community and social model in response to mental distress with locations in Walton, Southport and Bootle.

Clare Rotheram (pictured left, delivering the findings), Social Health and Research Lead at the Life Rooms, had joined the PPP to evaluate the Life Rooms impact on individuals and the health and care system.  

The evaluation explored:

• The impact of The Life Rooms on use of clinical services (Quantitative approach)

• The impact of The Life Rooms on individual recovery (Qualitative approach)

Results were presented in Walton Life Rooms where Clare outlined how CLAHRC NWC had kick-started the building of an evidence base demonstrating the value of the Life Rooms.

Findings included:

  • Early evidence suggesting a small reduction in use of secondary mental health care after using The Life Rooms.
  • Experiential data suggested that The Life Rooms people and environment were felt to be positive influences, as well as The Life Rooms being felt to be a non-judgmental safe space to share experiences.

 “This was an opportunity for us to explore experiences and data in a self-contained piece of work” the lively audience was told.

Clare said: “Working with the CLAHRC NWC has demonstrated our effectiveness, something we wanted to prove, capture and demonstrate to our diverse range of stakeholders. This is essential information to be considered for when decisions are being made about how the The Life Rooms service moves forward. . This project demonstrates our service makes a clear impact.”   

The audience were also informed the formal Evaluation Report, containing an overview of The Life Rooms evidence collection, has been presented to Mersey Care’s Quality Assurance Committee.

Service users were involved at every stage of the evaluation, including project design, data collection and dissemination of findings. This included working with the Health Inequalities Assessemnt Toolkit (HIAT)

Alan Price, a service user and Public Adviser with CLAHRC NWC, outlined his involvement. “There has been so much learning for the service through this exercise. Sharing experiences was a valuable mechanism, you can’t always do that in hospital”, he said. 

“My confidence has been boosted. I thought at first I’d be a token person but I wasn’t, I decided with the team what the questions should be as part of this evaluation and was part of the evaluation all the way through.”

Watch a video of Alan outlining his experience in the evaluation project below. 

A question and answer session drilled down into the detail of the research including how service users were engaged, interview techniques adopted. Copies of the formal Evaluation Report and the CLAHRC NWC BITE, explaining the research, were made available to all attendees of the dissemination event.

The Life Room’s public involvement work was acknowledged further when they scooped the award for Outstanding Contribution to Patient and Public Involvement in Research at the North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards 2019.  View Video

This award is aimed at an individual or group who can demonstrate excellence in participation of either individual patients, service users or carers within a piece of research. The award is looking for innovation in putting patients and service users at the heart of research to ensure research enhances health and care for patients / service users and/or experience of health / local provider services in general. You will need to demonstrate the practicalities of how PPI has been embedded in different stages of a research project.

More articles     Posted on: 25 March 2019