The Q Lab is a pilot this year. We’re hoping to learn how to setup and run a lab, that ultimately has the potential to address complex problems that are affecting health and care.
One of the first tests for us was whether people would want to get involved, and so far the answer to this has been a resounding yes! There are now over 100 people signed up to be involved in the Q Lab – giving their time, energy and expertise to help address the challenge on peer support in the UK.
While our research into peer support continues in earnest, we’ve been thinking more about how to take advantage of the number of lab participants and support people to make new connections. One of the outcomes we’ll be measuring this year is whether people involved in the Lab make new relationships and collaborations, because we think this is a precursor to being able to make changes and improvements.
Some of this will happen face to face, for example at the next Lab workshop that’s taking place on 13-14 July. But due to the sheer number of people, the spread across the UK and how valuable people’s time is, we need to use other methods to support this.
To date, we’ve trialled a fortnightly update to Lab participants to give a summary of what has happened in the Lab over the last two weeks, what’s coming up and giving active ways for people to get involved. We’ve also held our first webinar and started to conduct some ethnographic interviews with people.
This week, we are contacting all of the Lab participants to launch the Lab profile cards.
The Lab profile cards will be short and snappy introduction cards that provide some high level information about everyone who is involved with the Lab. A rough example of my profile card is here.
These aren’t designed to be formal or hierarchical. Instead, we hope they’ll explain a little bit about who we all are as individuals. They should act as an invitation for people to start making connections.
This is a trial and so we will need to understand whether people are happy to share their information with us and with each other, and whether it does lead to action.
In the coming weeks, we will also be launching a Lab virtual space. This will be a simple place for people to have conversations and to share information with each other. This functionality is built into the Q website and is already being trialled by some of the Special Interest Groups.
If you’ve got any suggestions about how else we can support people involved in the Lab to connect, or you’d like to find out more about the work we’re doing in the Q Lab please do get in touch (QLab@health.org.uk).