Read our latest articles from our e-newsletter.

Continuous engagement is, it seems, being talked about more and more and we therefore think that, as a concept, it is worth examining in more detail. As a starting point, the obvious question is: what do we mean by continuous engagement? In a forthcoming paper we have written for the Consultation Institute we described it as:

• Ongoing research and consultation rather than just engaging at critical moments.
• Engagement across multiple touchpoints.
• Ensuring that consumers, customers, citizens or patients are at the heart of an organisation’s culture and involving them at the earliest possible stage of idea development.… Continue reading

Consultation_wIn January this year the Government published a set of consultation principles, replacing the principles drawn up in 2012 and giving guidance to government departments on conducting consultations. In summary, these principles set out that a consultation:

• Should be clear and concise
• Should have a purpose
• Should be informative
• Is only part of a process of engagement
• Should last for a proportionate amount of time
• Should be targeted
• Should take account of the groups being consulted
• Should be agreed before publication
• Should facilitate scrutiny
• Government responses to consultations should be… Continue reading

NHS_England_Logo_wWe’re delighted to have been appointed to undertake some important qualitative evaluation work for NHS England. We are undertaking the qualitative elements of an evaluation of the palliative care development currency. The currency is being tested this year by 13 providers of palliative care, along with their commissioning bodies.

The use of currencies is well established in the NHS and is the basis of payment for the majority of acute care. A ‘currency’  in this context is a way of grouping patients’ healthcare needs into units that have broadly similar clinical and resource needs. The aim is to allow… Continue reading

We receive a lot of briefs (and we are very thankful for them!) but, naming no names, some are very good and very clear, while others leave a good deal to be desired. So, from a research agency point of view what are our top tips to get the most from the proposals you get back? Here’s what we most want to see from a good brief:

  • Give us some background: What does your organisation do? What are your current challenges? Also, is there any previous relevant research we should be aware of?

We have been following recent developments in the water sector with great interest. Regulators and representative organisations have all been actively considering what worked well in terms of customer engagement during the 2014 price review and, more importantly, what lessons can be learnt and applied to the next price review in 2019. There certainly were a lot of good things to report, not least the fact that, according to Ofwat, there were conversations with a quarter of a million people!

We attended a seminar recently convened by UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) to brief the sector on the findings of… Continue reading

Research and engagement, as we know it, faces a number of challenges over coming years. Big changes are being created by a combination of the impact of ‘big data’, the rising use of passive monitoring, DIY research tools and waning respondent attention spans. We’re taking a look into our crystal ball at what all this might mean over the coming year and beyond.

There has been a recent explosion of data – according to a recent estimate from Google, we’ve generated 90% of all data in the entire history of the world in just the past two years. 2.5 quintillion… Continue reading

As researchers we believe (of course) in the value of independent research. Actions you take and policies you adopt may have clear objectives and intended consequences, but do you always know what the true impact is on your audiences? Internal data may not be sufficient to give you the answer and the following recent example of our work shows how wider and unintended impacts can be uncovered through careful and sensitive research.

We recently conducted a research study with doctors and employers of doctors. All the doctors who took part had been given a warning or had restrictions placed on… Continue reading

Suzannah Kinsella_w2Suzannah has recently joined Community Research as an Associate. She is an expert in designing engagement and dialogue that bring issues to life and help people influence decisions constructively.

Her work has involved people in decisions about the use of health data, the ethics of organ donation, the siting of nuclear power stations, changes to NHS services, mitigating the impacts of high speed rail and the impacts of the Care Act on local authorities and care providers.

Suzannah was previously Head of Public Engagement at the consultancy Office for Public Management (OPM) and Head of Engagement at the Central Office… Continue reading

The recent Professional Standards Authority (PSA) report, Rethinking Regulation, calls for wholesale changes both to the structure of and approach to regulation of health and care in the UK. The document doesn’t pull any punches, saying: “if regulation was going to improve care, it would have done it by now.” Just a month or so later, NCVO has published a hard-hitting report saying, quite clearly, that the current regulatory regime for charities isn’t working.

Value of regulators

The PSA report puts forward Harvard professor Mark Moore’s strategic triangle, which provides a framework for regulators to conceptualise their task. The… Continue reading

We know from our own work that there are many ways you can seek feedback. We share below three different approaches to collecting feedback – could they inspire your next research and consultation project?

1) Using Lego to solve a university’s timetable challenges

The University of the Arts in London used Lego to help gather feedback on its timetabling issues. The staff group were joined by a ‘Lego Serious Play’ facilitator, who helped them to use Lego to look at their timetable issues from the perspective of all stakeholders.

2) Using Minecraft as a planning and visualisation tool

Dundee… Continue reading

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