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Q Lab peer support workshop 5 December: Live blog

We’re live-blogging at the Q Lab workshop on 5 December. 40 people from across health and care (and beyond) will come together in Birmingham to share and make progress on the different areas of work that we have been working on as part of the Lab’s first challenge ‘What would it take for effective peer support to be available to everyone who wants it to help manage their long-term health and wellbeing needs?’.

We’ll also be tweeting from @theQCommunity (#QLabs). Get involved by either tweeting or posting a comment below. We will feedback any questions and/or thoughts into the workshop.

Update: A write up summarising the agenda and discussions is now available here.

5 December – afternoon sessions

16:30 Feedback and close

Group discussions on ‘what went well’ and ‘even better if’ before some final thank-yous from Tracy.

Over the next couple of days we’ll add even more photos and snippets that we just didn’t have time to do today.

Thank you to everyone who came! We’ll be in touch with everyone (and we’ll put something on the Q website) on next steps and where we go from here.

16:00 I can and I will…

15:30 Lab branches of work

Using a metaphor of a tree, we can recap on the various branches of work of the Lab – what we have been working on, why are doing this and what still hope to achieve.

A quick summary of the branches of work:

  • Evidence: National Voices are taking forward the work on the evidence hub. The work on this will aim to draw together the evidence and research that is already out there.
  • Access: The work to understand the drivers and factors that matter to people when recommending, referring to, commissioning or accessing peer support services. We hope this work will spark new conversations about peer support more widely.
  • Story-telling: Today we heard some great examples of stories and how they can be used with effect. We now have the opportunity to think about how we can use them with real purpose and intent.
  • Sharing: Through the Lab we offer opportunities and platforms for people to make new connections and to build new relationships. We are always looking for ways to improve and expand this offer.
  • Collaborating: It’s exciting to hear of when connections lead to new collaborations. One example is the work between Creative Minds and People’s Voices Media, who connected through our July workshop.
  • Learning: The Lab is constantly learning and we will be working to develop our ideas on this further in the coming months.
  • Local work: Recently we have seen our work taken forward at a local level. In September we were asked to run a workshop in Northern Ireland in conjunction with Southern Health Trust. You can check out the blog here.
  • Q Funder: The marketplace is not quite a branch of work, but the theme is inspired by our work and it is a unique opportunity to bid for up to £30k funding to take forward a peer support project.

15:20 The Lab approaches to impact and spread

We’re back together for the last session of the day, as Tracy Webb introduces the Lab approaches to impact and spread.

  • There is no single answer or solution to how to make peer support more widely available.
  • We could have chosen to work on a single item this phase, but to make progress on complex challenges, the path seems less clearly defined.

14:00 – 15:00 Summary of access session

    • The Q Lab will be conducting a piece of research which focuses on what matters to different people – peer support workers, doctors, members of the public – when making decisions around peer support.
    • We want to improve access to peer support services by improving the conversations between these different groups and highlighting what matters to people when accessing, recommending or referring to peer support.
    • Lab participants have already helped design this research. Purpose of session is to think about how we will take this work forward and how these insights could make a difference in our day-to-day lives.

Session attendees are asked to rank what matters to them when they make decisions about peer support (decisions = either recommending, using or referring). We then mapped the issues to see where the differences and commonalities are.

Mapping what matters in peer support

Factors influencing peer support

14:55 How can we use stories to generate change?

Feeling inspired from the examples, we are now moving on to a structured discussion on how we stories can be used with impact to generate change in peer support.

  • We need stories from multiple perspectives to surface any gaps.
  • Commissioning grounded in what people need and want, based on people’s experiences.

14:35 Examples of stories creating positive change

There are some great examples out there of how stories can be used to create positive change. Some of the examples are quite emotive, but go to show just how powerful a story can be. Here are just a few that we are going to share today.

  • Purple Rainbow – a UK based charity which raises awareness of signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer and uses storied to achieve this goal. The video is called ‘Ebb and Flow’ video and is told by Margaret Datson in her own words.

  • Recovery College East – part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. How they use stories for evidencing.
    1. A book titled ‘Road to Recovery: Our Stories of Hope’. A pdf copy can be downloaded here.
    2. Graduation ceremonies – an afternoon involving presentations by students graduating from the college, who share their stories and give thanks.
  • – provide free, reliable information to people suffering from long term conditions, by sharing people’s experiences. Below is an example of one of their videos.

14:30 Applying this to stories

When applying this topography to a story it ends up with it’s own ‘fingerprint’.

14:20 Creating a storytelling topography

There are many different ways to approach stories, but this session we will be focussing on the aspect of intention (the desired outcome) and the positive changes they can make.

Through our research we found it wasn’t always clear who was doing what with stories and for what purpose.

To help us navigate the storytelling landscape, we came up with a topography. The aim was to help us to think about the stories and to understand the different purposes. It breaks the story down into sections, including storyteller, purpose, audience, outcome and actions.

14:10 An introduction to storytelling

During the July workshop, the topic of storytelling to help build evidence base for peer support emerged as a popular theme among attendees.  “How can we generate sources of evidence that capture the holistic impact that peer support can have on people’s lives?”

Following this we started looking at how stories are used in health and care to explore what is out there and what is already being done.

14:05 Session 3 – Access or Storytelling

With everyone back in the room, we are now splitting into two groups for the afternoon session from 14:00-15:00.

  • The access session will be led our Insight Manager, Hannah Patel. It will be addressing the brief: How can we improve the routine offering and promotion of peer support?
  • Running the storytelling session will be Hawys Tomos, who works as a Design Consultant for the Lab. The session will take some time to explain how we have navigated the storytelling landscape, show different examples and explore how stories can be used in peer support.

13:15 Lunchtime!

Our attendees are now heading to the cafe area to refuel for the afternoon ahead.

When we come back after lunch people have the option to choose between two different sessions – access to peer support: translating insights into practice, or using storytelling in peer support.

5 December – morning sessions

13:02 Prioritising key features of an online evidence hub

The results are starting to come in. What do you think?

Matrix of online hub features

12:34 Shoulda woulda coulda

After spending some time thinking about what ‘problem’ a hub would solve, the groups are now placing some potential features of the online resource on a must/should/could/won’t axis (MoSCoW) to help prioritise its features.

By doing this in smaller groups we’ll see what features we all agree on and what is up for grabs.

Here is the tool that we are using during this task

12:30 Problem structuring exercise

The first task for the next 10 minutes: think of a time of when you have needed to access evidence on peer support. Why? How did you do it? What factors shaped the problem and how could it be solved in future?

Here is the tool that we are using with this task

12:10 Introduction to the idea of an ‘online evidence hub’

The purpose of this session is to starting thinking about what an online evidence hub could look like.

  • The Q Lab are in discussions with National Voices, Mind, and Positively UK to help design and scope an online resource for the evidence of peer support.
  • The idea itself came from an event run by these organisations in July.
  • Also in July, the Lab ran a two-day workshop to explore the challenges facing peer support, where there were many discussions about the difficulties of finding evidence (and different types of evidence) on peer support.

12:00 What has the Lab been working on since our last workshop in July?

Introduction by Libby Keck on the Lab’s ‘developing and testing phase’ (August – January) where we have been working on three briefs:

  1. How can we generate sources of evidence that capture the holistic impact that peer support can have on people’s lives
  2. How can we improve the routine offering and promotion of peer support in primary care settings?
  3. How can we support the sharing of knowledge, experience and evidence of what does and does not work in peer support.

Further information on each is available here.

Libby outlines the journey of the Lab so far, and the numbers of people we have collaborated with and resources we have drawn upon:

11:54 Some powerful quotes on peer support

Quote from Positively UK
  • According to HealthUnlocked, 63% had never met someone else with the same condition

11:45 Feedback from discussions

“In my group there was the suggestion of linking national charities (with peer support) with on-call pharmacists to help with risks of incorrect medication advice

“We explored whether we should find ways to support individuals seeking peer support to reflect on how best to choose and access it so they can get what’s useful to them and manage risk”

11:20 Group discussions

We are now taking some time to move into small group discussion with each of the presenters. Attendees have the opportunity to chat with the presenters and ask questions.

11:05 Debs Taylor – Creative Minds

Our final presentation is from Debs Taylor, who works as a peer project support officer for Creative Minds. Debs shares her journey to becoming a peer supporter, artist and inspirational speaker.

  • Peer support is about being human – focussing on what we can achieve together.
  • The importance of sharing stories and experiences with one another.

10:55 Allan Anderson – Chief Executive, Positively UK

We now have Allan Anderson from Positively UK, a charity which supports people living with HIV. Here are some key points from Allan’s presentation.

  • The need for peer support to be centred on the individual.
  • How peer support can provide what might not be available in a clinical setting.
  • There is still work to do on how we can get peer support recognised across the board.

10:45 Katie Clarke-Day – Patient advocate

We now have Katie Clarke-Day who is here to share her experiences of accessing peer support services.

  • Some of the benefits of peer support, such as being able to access specific information which may not be readily available. Being understood and not having to explain yourself, or your condition.
  • How peer support can benefit everyone and the power of meeting people who are walking the same journey as you.

10:33 Ruby Smith – South Yorkshire Housing Trust

Our first presenter is Ruby Smith who is head of Co-design and Improvement at South Yorkshire Housing Association. Ruby shares her perspective and thoughts on peer support.

  • The importance of keeping peer support personal.
  • The risk of making assumptions about peer support – it doesn’t always work for everyone.
  • A traditional approach to commissioning won’t necessarily work for peer support – we need a more organic and creative approach

10:30 Our first session begins

The first session today is to learn more about each other’s experiences of peer support. We will start with 4 presentations from Lab participants, followed by group discussions.

We have a videographer filming each of the presentations, so will share these next week.

10.18 Everyone to their feet!

10:12 Introducing the ice breaker activity

The ice breaker session this morning has been inspired by a Danish advert called ‘All that we share’. In moment we will trying our own more light hearted version, as we look to surface who we have in the room and highlight some of the things we have in common.

10:00 We’ve started!

A welcome from Tracy Webb, Head of Q Lab.

9:50 A few words on today’s workshop

9:40 Attendees start to arrive

Coffee and breakfast are on hand to start the day.

8:45 The agenda for today

Here is a run down of what we will be doing today:

9:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:30 Welcome and introduction
10:30 – 11:45 Session 1: Sharing your experiences of peer support
11:45 – 12:00 Introduction to developing and testing ideas phase
12:00 – 13:15 Session 2: Designing an online hub for peer support evidence
13:15 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:00 Session 3a: Access to peer support – translating insights into practice or session 3b: Using storytelling in peer support
15:00 – 16:00 Session 4: Q Lab approaches to impact and spread
16:00 – 16:30 Feedback, reflections and close
16:30 – 17:30 Drinks reception

8:27 Workshop attendees are on their way!

8:20 Final set up

The Lab team are doing final preparations for the day. Excited for our 40 attendees (from across health and care, Q and non Q members) to join us!

The week before…

1 December: Learn more about our survey on accessing peer support

One of the sessions at the workshop will be looking at the survey on peer support access, which will go live before Christmas.

Hannah Patel has written about the survey in a recent blog, outlining in more detail the purpose of the survey and why we think it’s an exciting piece of work.

The session in the workshop (14:00 – 15:00) will also get us thinking about how the insights could be used and make a difference (we’ll capture the discussion on this live-blog).

29 November: Post-it notes are arriving

I don’t want to give too much away, but rest ash-ured there tree-ly will be lots of post-it notes at this workshop:

Post-it ready!

28 November: Final run-through

Delegates confirmed. Venue sorted. Agenda ready. The Lab team gather for a final dress rehearsal of the day (as you can tell by our faces, it’s going to be productive, insightful and hopefully fun!)

Lab team run through

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