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Co-development and testing of an implementation tool for knowledge mobilisers across the North East and North Cumbria

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Co-development and testing of an implementation tool for knowledge mobilisers in the integrated health and social care system across the North East and North Cumbria. This tool is specifically linked to social prescribing.

Project Lead: Leah Buhrmann, ARC PhD student, Northumbria University

Project background

The North East and North Cumbria region faces many health and social challenges, including high rates of unemployment, poverty, and poor health1.

The regional integrated care system (ICS) aims to improve the health and wellbeing from a holistic perspective by integrating health and social care practices.

Social prescribing is one example of such an integration process. Social prescribing connects health care patients in need of non-clinical care with the third sector (voluntary and community sector). Ideally, this will lead to better individual care while reducing the burden on the health care sector, particularly primary care facilities.

The process of integrating care pathways in everyday life is challenged by system complexity, the need to build alliances and relationships among different professional groups and organisations, and coordinating different interrelated work processes2.

Evidence generated from the fields of Knowledge Mobilisation, Implementation and Improvement Science can help to address these challenges.

The aim of these disciplines is to investigate how to facilitate the mobilisation, integration, and embeddedness of research evidence in practice settings3 and how to improve existing processes within a system.

What is the aim of this project?

The goal of this research is to understand and support the implementation of social prescribing processes within the integrated care system (ICS) in the North East and North Cumbria. Professionals and individuals with experience working with or using social prescribing will collaborate to develop a tool that supports existing social prescribing processes by enabling actors in the process to reflect on and improve current practices.

Who will benefit from this project?

The jointly developed implementation tool will benefit professionals involved in social prescribing – such as link workers, health professionals, referrers, GPs and managers – by identifying challenges and finding sustainable solutions for their practices. This will lead to more efficient and integrated workflows.

Supporting the process of social prescribing will ultimately benefit service users, resulting in higher uptake, better user experience, and better patient outcomes.

For more information, email [email protected]