Our work has influenced policy development and change at the highest levels in government, improved service and programme experience for patients and service users and led to positive behaviour change.
We support clients to ensure communications and engagement are persuasive and effective. Our expertise ensures the voice of the service user, patient or customer is central in informing this decision making.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: illustrating the challenges businesses face when complying with regulation
This qualitative research sought to gain an understanding of the impact of regulation on businesses across all sizes, sectors and regions of the UK. It looked at both positive and negative impacts and what government could do to improve the experience of implementing regulations. A particular focus was to identify the specific regulatory actions that are most burdensome for businesses and any specific types of regulation that businesses find helpful or beneficial. The research has been used to inform the future implementation of regulation. A total of 50 in-depth interviews were conducted with both pre and post tasking.
NHS Digital: General Practice data for Planning and Research - listening research
This research sought to identify awareness of GPDPR and opinions of it amongst the public. GPDPR was a relatively well known but little understood topic. The research identified some of the perceived benefits of GPDPR and some concerns held by the public that would need to be addressed. The findings of this research have informed and influenced future communications on this complex topic. An online survey was conducted with three sample groups: a nationally representative sample of 1703, a sample of 309 individuals who were less engaged online and an offline telephone survey with 50 individuals who did not use the internet.
Competition and Markets Authority: exploring decision making when self-funding IVF
CMA were developing consumer law guidance for fertility clinics in the UK to ensure that the public is aware of their consumer rights. This research helped inform CMA's guidance. The research explored experiences of IVF in depth and recommended improvements to the information clinics provide. This included the need to consistently convey details about the clinical effectiveness of the treatment options available. 50 depth interviews were conducted with participants who had paid for IVF in treatment within the UK in the past 2 years.
Department of Culture, Media and Sport: exploring volunteer passporting
The concept of volunteer passports has long been a topic of debate in the volunteering community. Many stakeholders have embarked upon ‘passporting’ initiatives in the past, reaching varying stages of maturity in their development and implementation. This research explored opportunities for volunteer passports and passporting to support volunteering. The research identified success factors and design considerations perceived to be critical for volunteer passports and passporting to be adopted and benefit the voluntary sector. It also explored the desired role of government in supporting volunteer passporting in the future. The research comprised a literature review and qualitative research with 58 participants including stakeholders, volunteer involving organisations, volunteers and digital platform providers.
Public Health England: evaluation of standards for employers of public health teams
The standards for employers of public health teams in England set out expectations of employers who want to enable their public health staff to work effectively. This project aimed to evaluate the impact of these standards, one year on. The standards were perceived as beneficial as a framework to support public health work and to provide examples of best practice. The research provided some key considerations for the future development and usage of the standards, including the best methods for promoting the standards and how to tailor the advice and guidance. The research involved 40 telephone interviews with stakeholders and Directors of Public Health as well as an online survey.
Office for Students: identifying barriers to male participation in nursing and allied health higher education courses
Nursing and allied health professions are dominated by women in the UK and elsewhere. This research was commissioned to provide an evidence-based strategic direction as well as practical recommendations to raise awareness of the career opportunities that nursing and allied health offer men. Our research identified the barriers and recommended a suite of actions for improving male participation in these courses. This included how to position promotion material to appeal to male applicants and the best methods to raise awareness of these opportunities. The research combined quantitative analysis of secondary data, a literature review and primary qualitative research with current and prospective students, influencers (including parents and teachers), university and college admissions and outreach staff and sector stakeholders.
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care: encouraging patients to take a role in patient safety
A 2017 publication by the PSA identified that patients and service users can play a valuable and important role in the safety and quality of their care alongside other agents including regulators, systems, employers and the law. This research was commissioned to identify how patients and services users could be encouraged to take on this role. Our report identified a number of ways in which patients and service users could feel empowered to safeguard their care. This included adopting the appropriate mindset, creating an understanding of patient rights and developing skills in working with healthcare professionals, such as knowing what questions to ask and how to ask them. The research comprised 9 focus groups and 16 face-to-face depth interviews with patients, service users and members of the public and 16 tele-depths with those who had raised a formal complaint about their care.
Competition and Markets Authority: developing a consumer remedy for the funerals market
CMA published a report in 2020 that identified that the markets for funeral directors and crematoria services at the point of need were not functioning well. Part of the remedies package included an itemised price list in a standardised format to enable customers to compare the price of different providers. Our research provided clear guidance for the framing of the standardised price list, as well as its structure, content and language. From 16 September 2021, all funeral providers were required to display this standardised price list on their website and in their premises. The design and content of the itemised price list was iterated as the research progressed. The sample included 30 depth interviews with people who had experience arranging a funeral, 3 focus groups with those who had attended a funeral and 3 focus groups with those who had never attended a funeral.
Peabody Community Foundation: evaluation of social prescribing
Positive Steps Thamesmead is a social prescribing programme run by Peabody in Thamesmead since 2015. Peabody commissioned this piece of research to understand the impact of this social prescribing service. The research showed that the programme was effective in supporting some of the most vulnerable groups in Thamesmead to access appropriate support which, in turn, helped reduce food poverty, prevent evictions and homelessness and improve mental health and wellbeing. The research identified key factors behind this success, which had broader implications for social prescribing as a potential model for other similar services. The model involved a hyper-local approach to outreach and service delivery, support with accessing appointments and the funding to address the gaps in available support. The final report also produced a set of recommendations for optimising social prescribing in Thamesmead and the role different local stakeholders can play. The research involved a mixed methodology, comprising qualitative depth interviews and group discussions with a range of stakeholder groups and a quantitative online survey with service users.
Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland: review of social covenants and charters
This research was designed to find out whether social covenants and charters make an impact in terms of making a positive change in people’s lives. Its aim was to contribute to a discussion about a potential role of social covenants and charters in social care in Scotland. The research highlighted good practice where social covenants and charters have achieved positive impact in: encouraging action to meet charter commitments; empowering service users; driving system change; and influencing policy change. It also identified key factors needed for social covenants and charters to achieve these positive impacts. However, the research found very limited evidence on whether these positive impacts ultimately improved people’s lives. This was highlighted as an evidence gap to be addressed in future research and evaluations of social covenants and charters. The research method comprised a literature review, complemented by six expert qualitative interviews in relation to specific covenants and charters.
Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland: exploring self-directed support and personal outcomes
The research needed to strengthen the evidence base in relation to social care in Scotland and, specifically, explore the extent to which self-directed support helps people who share specific protected characteristics achieve their personal outcomes. The research found very mixed experiences and identified both the ways in which self-directed support played a positive role in supporting social care users to achieve their personal outcomes and the factors that limited its potential to do so. Based on these findings, the report proposed improvements to the specific processes and mechanisms involved in self-directed support, the choice and control given to social care users and how to embed equality in its delivery. The method was qualitative and comprised 25 semi-structured depth interviews with social care users receiving self-directed support, personal assistants, advocacy workers and a group discussion with social care workers.