'We want to be together': The impact of public health co-production evaluations in County Durham
PHE ePoster Library. Connor N. Sep 12, 2017; 186632; 183
Natalie Connor
Natalie Connor
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Abstract Often public health initiatives tend to be complex and context specific, and it is essential they are evaluated to prove effectiveness. However, public health policy tends to be established from robust RCTs conducted by universities which can raise questions around the translation of research to 'real world' practice. A co-production evaluation approach involving academics and practitioners can lead to translational research, benefiting from differing skill sets and experience. It challenges the usual relationship between professionals and service users, implying a change in the role of professionals from fixers of problems to facilitators, finding solutions with partners including service users.This abstract outlines the results of an on-going co-production evaluation initiative between a university and local authority public health department. In total 12 public health services involving three academic researchers, and eight public health portfolio leads have been part of this project, with 9 completed evaluations. A researcher-in-residence framework is utilised, whereby practitioners spend time at the university developing research skills and researchers spend time embedding into the local authority, learning about the processes involved in shaping public health policy.A number of successful outcomes have been achieved, including; developing procedures for co-managing evaluations, influencing public health services by ensuring that consent to share data is built into new services, and re-shaping existing services based on evaluation findings. In addition, an interactive toolkit for public health practitioners to assess effectiveness of public health services, and a co-production book are currently in production, which will contribute to wider learning.
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