Connected communities | Learning lessons from person-centred community-based support services’ implementation

Christian, Danielle orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1117-6127, Berzins, Kathryn orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5002-5212, Weldon, Jo Catherine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0729-8121, Toma, Madalina, Gabbay, Mark, Watkins, Caroline Leigh orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9403-3772 and Forder, Julien (2023) Connected communities | Learning lessons from person-centred community-based support services’ implementation. NIHR Open Research . ISSN 2633-4402 (Submitted)

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Person-centred community-based support services (PCCBSS) are an array of non-clinical services provided by organisations such as NHS Trusts, voluntary sector organisations, or local authorities.

All PCCBSS involve an individual (variously known as a 'social prescriber’, ‘link worker’, ‘signposter’, ‘navigator’, ‘connector’ or ‘neighbourhood coach’) who talks with a service user before directing them to a range of relevant community sources of social, emotional, and practical support.

Despite much recent investment in social prescribing, and its increased prominence within the policy context across England, little is understood about how PCCBSS are implemented. Research is required across different contexts to describe PCCBSS implementation; in particular, how social care providers successfully interact to support the implementation of PCCBSS, and how services responded to circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aim of this post-implementation mixed-methods study is to explore how PCCBSS are implemented and become part of usual working practice. Using three services in North West England as case studies, we will examine factors influencing PCCBSS implementation and establish where there is learning for the wider adult social care system.

The study comprises two work packages (WPs):

WP1: collecting data by reviewing service documents from three PCCBSS case studies;

WP2: interviewing staff and service users (≤20 participants per PCCBSS);

Key implementation data will be systematically abstracted (from WPs1&2) into a coding frame; combining contextual determinants from the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) with process-related domains from Normalization Process Theory (NPT).

Key outputs
The findings from WP1 and WP2 will be presented in the form of an illustrated ‘pen portrait’, developed collaboratively with Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast ARC NWC public advisers, to illustrate how implementation evolved for each of the PCCBSS across key time-points in the process (initiation; operation; maintenance). The findings will also inform an online implementation toolkit providing recommendations for setting up future PCCBSS.

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