Connecting People Implementation Study
The Connecting People pilot study found that when Connecting People was fully integrated into health and social care teams, service users enhanced their connections to family, friends and members of the local community. However, local authority and NHS teams found it difficult to implement Connecting People fully. This study aims to assist practitioners in community mental health teams to use Connecting People by developing an implementation toolkit, comprising guidance on training, practice and implementation. This study also aims to evaluate whether or not this helps community mental health teams to implement Connecting People in their routine practice with high fidelity.
The study convened a co-production working group consisting of mental health service users, experts by experience, practitioners, and researchers. The group co-developed new practice guidance, a training manual, an implementation manual and a guide to Connecting People. This implementation toolkit was designed to be user-friendly, visually appealing and informative to encourage practitioners to use it and implement Connecting People in their routine practice.
This study is evaluating the outcomes of the implementation of Connecting People using a controlled design. Five Mental Health NHS Trusts selected two community mental health teams and allocated one to the intervention arm of the study and the other to the control arm. The intervention teams received the implementation toolkit and the control teams continued with routine practice as before. Service users from each team were invited to participate in the study and were interviewed by researchers. They will be re-interviewed at six months to assess change in their access to social capital, goal attainment and their experience of recovery. The cost-effectiveness of implementation is also being evaluated. Recruitment to the study is currently underway.
The researchers are holding focus groups with each participating team to assess the extent to which they utilise evidence-based interventions and are implementing Connecting People. They are also exploring with practitioners the processes of implementation and the barriers they face.
The study is being conducted by Professor Martin Webber with Dr Nicola Moran and Dr Kayonda Ngamaba (University of York).
Dr Vanessa Pinfold (McPin Foundation), Professor David Morris (University of Central Lancashire), Professor Martin Knapp and Cate Henderson (London School of Economics) are collaborators. Dr Jan Boekne (University of Dundee) is providing statistical advice.
The study is being funded by the NIHR School of Social Care Research.