CHAPTER 2 SAHPMKT/ KB PROCESS
"Knowledge brokering is one of the human forces behind knowledge transfer. It's a dynamic activity that goes well beyond the standard notion of transfer as a collection of activities that helps move information from a source to a recipient. Brokering focuses on identifying and bringing together people interested in an issue, people who can help each other develop evidence-based solutions. It helps build relationships and network sharing existing research and ideas and stimulating new work. Knowledge brokering supports evidence-based decision-making by encouraging the connections that ease knowledge transfer. By definition, they are go-betweens; their core function is connecting people to share and exchange knowledge."
(The Theory And Practice Of Knowledge Brokerage In Canada's Health System. A Report Based On A CHRSF National Consultation and a Literature Review, December 2003 http://www.chsrf.ca/brokering/pdf/Theory_and_Practice_e.pdf)
This section of the briefing paper provides an overview of the KT and KB processes deployed in the course of the SAHPM project.
2.1 Stakeholder Buy In
Face to Face Meetings with Key Stakeholders in NHSS and Partner Organisations
The SAHPM Team held targeted meetings with key stakeholders in NHSS and other potential partner organisations to ensure stakeholder buy in to the SAHPM process from the outset. Meetings were initially arranged through the team's existing networks and personal contacts, and then further face-to-face meetings were scheduled with lead individuals in NHSS and partner organisations who were identified through recognised 'snowballing' techniques. The team also initiated dialogues with NHSS suppliers and industry groups. This way of working ensured engagement with a wide range of stakeholders and potential partners to ensure that the benefits and potential of SAHPM were determined at an early stage before the foundation and implementation programmes were rolled out.
Making use of Technology
The SAHPM team prioritised face-to-face engagement with colleagues and potential partners, but also made innovative use of technology to ensure timely, open and transparent dialogue with stakeholders. Following SE consultation good practice guidance and utilising OCR systems and the expertise of the OCR Civic Participation Team, SAHPM successfully piloted and then deployed an electronic consultation questionnaire. This was used to consult with key potential SAHPM users in SEHD; other relevant SE Departments; NHSS; and other partner organisations and agencies with an interest in health in its widest interpretation. A Consultation Paper and Questionnaire were issued in early June 2003 and the consultation closed in mid July 2003. In total 175 responses were received from individuals, groups and organisations. A number of responses were submitted on behalf of NHSS Board Areas. 157 questionnaires were completed, and 18 respondents submitted their views in other formats. This represented a positive response, and an opportunity to enable virtual dialogue with colleagues and partners who were located in rural and remote parts of Scotland.
2.2 Developing Networks and Identifying Communities of Practice
Developing networks and identifying communities of practice within SE, Scotland, the European Union, and the wider international context was a priority area of activity for SAHPM, and resulted in a process, described below, that created immediate benefits for SEHD and the wider Executive.
2.2.1 Networks and Communities of Practice within SE
Groundwork within SEHD
It was anticipated that the future success of knowledge transfer and knowledge brokerage would be directly related to the demand for evidence from colleagues in SEHD. Therefore the process to create evidence-oriented networks and communities of practice within SEHD was a priority for the SAHPM team and focused on three main areas of activity: identifying priorities; identifying resources available to SEHD; and making connections:
In the initial phases of the project SAHPM team created opportunities to hold face-to-face meetings with a range of SEHD Directors; staff in Chief Medical Office ( CMO); staff in Chief Scientist Office ( CSO); and policy administrators with lead responsibility for high profile policy issues during 2003-4 and 2004-5. SAHPM team discussed present and future evidence requirements, key target dates, and the potential for evidence to be used in support of Partnership Agreement commitments. These discussions enabled SAHPM team to target effective and timely support for SEHD throughout the project.
Initial discussions revealed that colleagues in SEHD had low awareness of the analytical support available to them within SEHD and the wider Executive. SAHPM team carried out considerable work in 2003-4 to raise awareness of the expertise available to SEHD in Health Department Analytical Services Division ( HD: ASD), and the seven academic units funded by SEHD through CSO. SAHPM also identified resources in other Departmental ASDs which could inform cross cutting HD policy priorities; and the availability to SEHD of other in-house technical expertise provided by specialists such as the Scottish Executive Geographical Information Service ( SEGIS); and the Scottish Procurement Directorate ( SPD).
The SAHPM team contextualised their work with SEHD within wider change processes and initiatives taking place within SE in 2003-4 and 2004-5. The SAHPM team made early alliances with the Change to Deliver ( C2D) Team and the Policy Makers Network ( PMN) and provided extensive support to both C2D and PMN in their strategic and practical engagement with SEHD.
In 2003-4 SAHPM organised and facilitated the Policy Makers Network ' ASD Awareness Raising Seminar' on behalf of PMN and HD: ASD. SAHPM designed the seminar to raise awareness of analytical resources available in HD. Colleagues were asked to break into working groups to consider evidence requirements focusing on the a case study topic linked to a Partnership Agreement commitment. This example also brokered common signposting and links to analytical support for other policy colleagues.
Following on from the PMN network, SAHPM established the SEHD Knowledge Management Group ( KMG), a group established to enable colleagues to discuss evidence requirements for priority policy issues. The KMG was piloted in the first half of 2004, and was attended by the Health Minister, Head of Department and senior policy officials.
This initial work provided the connections and networks which enabled SAHPM to engage in KT and KB to assist SEHD on priority policy issues, and in practical project work to inform policy development and implementation.
Groundwork across the Executive
In the early stages of the SAHPM project, the SAHPM team identified an immediate need to support dialogue between HD and other Executive Departments on cross cutting policy issues. Throughout 2003-4 and 2004-5 SAHPM stimulated informal and formal discussion between policy colleagues, and targeted movement and action around areas of common interest through the use of formal and opportunistic networks. As a result, new dialogues were opened between analysts and policy colleagues in HD and other areas of the Executive. SAHPM activity included:
- SAHPM face-to-face meetings with relevant Division Heads on priority cross cutting issues
- co-ordination of social research liaison on cross cutting health issues with Social Research team leaders in all SEASDs
- establishment of cross cutting networks of relevance to Health Department on Partnership Agreement priorities (notably Social Justice, Social Inclusion, Social Economy/Voluntary Issues, and Environmental Justice)
- brokerage of meetings between relevant SE colleagues in Education Department and Voluntary Issues Division and external stakeholders involved in SAHPM activity
- brokerage of liaison between HD and Environment and Rural Affairs Department ( ERAD) on health and environment research themes
- brokerage of SE Agency funding for horizon scanning work on Health and Environment issues
- contribution to research liaison and development work between Communities Scotland, Scottish Centre for Regeneration, DD and HD
2.2.2 Networks and Communities of Practice within Scotland
Groundwork across Scotland
A range of activities were undertaken in Scotland to create networks and communities of practice to link with SAHPM objectives. These included:
SAHPM Research Mapping Exercise
Following on from the SAHPM consultation exercise, in the second half of 2003 SAHPM invited Scottish universities; research and evidence providers in NHSS; and independent consultants and consultancies to contribute to a 'Research Mapping Exercise'. The research mapping paper was sent to the research and innovation units of all Scottish universities and cascaded through existing academic and university networks. Special Health Boards (notably NHS Health Scotland), individual academics and research consultants were also invited to share the mapping paper with interested colleagues. 54 responses were returned from a wide range of academic departments, independent researchers, government and local authority researchers, NHSS clinicians, and universities responding as corporate bodies. The mapping exercise provided a useful benchmark for considering self-identified evidence providers for policy, and the process revealed helpful information regarding the relationship between SE and research and innovation units within the universities, and perception of SE by these units.
Creating Strategic and Practical Connections with Scottish Universities
The SAHPM team formed strategic relationships with the Convener of Universities Scotland and Scottish University Principals, and SAHPM brokered a meeting between University Principals; SEHD Head of Department; and Chief Executive of NHS Education for Scotland ( NES). The SAHPM team were invited to meetings at Glasgow University and Glasgow Caledonian University to discuss areas of future collaboration. All other universities expressed an interest in future liaison meetings, and face-to-face meetings were held with academics from most Scottish Universities. The SAHPM team placed an emphasis on ensuring all universities had the opportunity to engage with SAHPM and made relevant contacts with the 'new universities' as well as Scotland's established university institutions to ensure that an inclusive approach was taken to SAHPM development across the Higher Education sector in Scotland.
Topic and Theme Meetings
The team held meetings to discuss the evidence requirements for a range of policy issues with relevant evidence providers and policy administrators, and facilitated dialogue and meetings that brought together evidence providers and evidence users (Ministers, analysts or administrators) to discuss areas of common interest. Topics and themes covered included: action and applied research in NHSS; medical ethics; organ retention and donation; gender and health; geographical information system data; health and forestry; health and environment; community health partnerships; intermediate care; social enterprise and health; cross cutting links between education and health research networks; genomics; accessibility and health; rural health; diet and health improvement; complementary therapy; and arts culture and health.
Targeted Invitation Meetings
The SAHPM team reviewed SEHD Partnership Agreement commitments and identified academics and other evidence providers in Scotland and further afield who were working on research which had the potential to inform PA commitments. A number of these academics had not previously engaged with SE, and were invited to meet the SAHPM team and take part in discussions regarding how their work could be disseminated to a policy audience. These individuals were invited to subsequent SAHPM events and meetings, and made a series of useful contributions to discussions on KM/ KT and KB; and to changes in culture and processes which would assist improved utilisation of evidence in the policy cycle.
Academic Evidence Providers Meet NHS Practitioners and Managers
SAHPM collaborated with University of Glasgow to create a forum for evidence providers to meet with NHSS and discuss the relationship between academic evidence providers and those in the NHSS wishing to use evidence to improve policy implementation and service delivery. SAHPM brought together senior academics from University of Glasgow and NHSS Chief Executives to discuss these issues, resulting in useful discussion. This revealed the importance of knowledge brokers who can act as go-betweens with the capacity to facilitate effective interactions between the very different worlds of the policy, public sector practice, industry, and academic communities.
Academic Roundtable Group
The academic community showed significant interest in a relationship with SE knowledge transfer and knowledge brokerage activity throughout the initiative. From the outset the SAHPM team expressed an interest in exploring the potential of the SAHPM project or other KT/ KB organisations acting as a potential 'neutral platform' or 'honest broker organisation' which could in the future initiate and sustain collaboration between disciplines and academics in Scotland. It was envisaged that such an arrangement could in the future assist academic and policy communities to move away from a transactional model of exchange to a more cooperative process to provide evidence for policy. To this end, a meeting described as the SAHPM 'Academic Roundtable' was convened in September 2003, and an invitation list was drawn up the basis of discipline, relevance of expertise to SEHDPA commitments, and institutional affiliation (to ensure the inclusion of all Scottish Universities). The meeting was facilitated by the SAHPM team and for many of the 18 academics who were able to attend, offered an opportunity to meet colleagues from other Scottish Universities for the first time. The meeting laid the foundations for further productive dialogue between SAHPM and the academic community throughout 2004-5.
Academic Forums on 'New Ways of Working' with SE
Liaison with academics resulted in in-depth discussion of issues such as the impact of the Research Assessment Exercise ( RAE) and other barriers to effective academic engagement in the development of research activity to inform policy (see section 3). As a result two meetings were arranged in late 2004 with the aim of asking leading Scottish academics to focus on discussion of options for developing new or innovative working relationships between SE and the academic community. The first was held in Edinburgh in October with four of the Directors of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (University of Edinburgh); the second was held in Glasgow Caledonian University in December, and attended by Glasgow Caledonian University academics and invited NHSS staff.
Building Direct Relationships with Scottish Funders and UK Funders
Scottish Higher Education Funding Council ( SHEFC) were represented on the SAHPM Steering and Reference Groups, and a range of discussions were held with SFC staff on SFC funding mechanisms to support KM/ KT and KB activity. At a UK Funding Council level the team initiated discussion with ESRC Head of Knowledge Transfer at the Government Social Research ( GSR) conference in March 2004 and subsequently facilitated discussions between SAHPM, OCR and wider SE interests on future collaboration between ESRC and SE on a number of KM/ KT and KB initiatives, resulting in lasting benefits for SE (see Section 2.4). The team also initiated cross cutting contact with Natural Environment Research Council ( NERC); and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ( BBSRC); and has explored the potential of collaboration with SE Science Research Group ( SRG)-formerly Agriculture and Biological Research Group ( ABRG)-to support cross cutting work on health and environment issues to inform policy development and implementation under the SRG strategic research programme (Programme 4: Impacts on Human Health). These contacts and themed discussions are now being taken forward by the SEOCRKT team.
Cross Cutting with Other Relevant Bodies in Scotland
The work of SAHPM team in the initial part of the project demonstrated the importance of wider-than-academic knowledge/evidence provision in the policy process. Therefore, throughout the project, the SAHPM team focused on engagement of, and collaboration with non-academic evidence providers including: the Improvement Service ( IS); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations ( SCVO); Scottish Local Authority Chief Executive's Network ( SOLACE); staff involved in evidence gathering and research in NHSS; and individuals in a wide range of NDPBs and NGOs.
Innovative Collaboration in Scotland
The network development outlined above also resulted in SAHPM team being able to take forward KT and KB through novel collaboration processes. All SAHPM activity, events and project work demonstrated a commitment to closing the opportunity gap, and the SAHPM team made direct connections to innovative organisations such as Columba 1400, Scotland UnLtd and their awardee organisations. These organisations have the potential to work in future with SE or NHSS at a strategic or grassroots level on social inclusion, voluntary issues, or broader health and wellbeing initiatives. In addition, the team's pre-existing relationship of research collaboration with Forestry Commission enabled SAHPM to create a new alliance between SEHD and FC leading to mutually beneficial engagement in the emerging field of health and environment research.
Maintaining the positive engagement of academics and other evidence providers with SAHPM and the wider SE was a key component of the creation of networks and communities of practice. The above activity resulted in the generation of a working confidence between the SAHPM team and those engaged in SAHPM liaison, resulting in a number of requests from contacts based in Scotland for formal engagement with SE. These included institutional alignment; knowledge transfer placement suggestions; secondment requests; and joint sponsorship of project work, MScs, and PhDs.
2.2.3 Networks and Communities of Practice outwith Scotland
Groundwork across the United Kingdom
The SAHPM team made a wide range of virtual and face-to-face contacts with social science academics and other evidence providers across the UK through utilising mainstream academic research and NHS networks; and identifying opportunities for liaison with networks of cross-cutting relevance to SEHD such as the Countryside Recreation Network ( CRN).
The team's initial contact with the team behind the Welsh (2002) study A Co-operative Research and Development Network for Wales. Linking the academic institutions, the NHS, local authority and voluntary provider organisations and subsequent liaison with the Department of Health's Strategy Unit influenced SAHPM development. Key players in relevant Departments and organisations were subsequently identified through the NHS Service Delivery and Organisation ( SDO) and Government Social Research ( GSR) networks, and invited to engage with SAHPM through face-to-face meetings. The SAHPM team also made a joint workshop presentation on improving utilisation of research evidence with Office of Deputy Prime Minister ( ODPM) at the GSR Conference in March 2004.
In late 2004 the SAHPM team and SE Chief Social Researcher met with The Joseph Rowntree Foundation ( JRF) to explore the potential of future joint working on Knowledge Transfer between JRF, SE and NHSS.
International network and communities of practice liaison was developed through a targeted approach focusing on European liaison; North American liaison (United States of America and Canada); wider international liaison; and developing countries liaison.
The team initiated European liaison by using participation in EU funded events to target entry points for SAHPM in European Expert Networks and European Science Foundation networks (through the European Science Foundation ( ESF) Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research- COST-Action network); and to horizon scan for, or identify, future EU policy and research funding priorities. This work subsequently dovetailed with OCR activity in this area and is now being taken forward by the SEOCRKT team.
At the start of the SAHPM project the team made virtual contact with leading KM/ KT/ KB experts in the United States, and supplemented this liaison with face-to-face encounters when these experts visited the United Kingdom. The founder of the Centre for Health Management and Research ( CHMR), took part in initial discussion of the SAHPM concept with the team and subsequently made an active contribution to the SAHPM feasibility study. In March 2004, following liaison with SE External Relations and Social Inclusion colleagues, the SAHPM team were invited by the Canadian Government and academic community to contribute to a one week series of workshops and meetings to address health and social policy issues in Nova Scotia and other Canadian Maritime provinces. This work supported SAHPM's virtual discussions with Canadian colleagues.
The SAHPM consultation paper offered the option of future SAHPM activity involving liaison with health service providers in developing countries. In the course of exploring future directions on this issue for SAHPM, SAHPM has formed connections with the British Council; contributed to SEHD's liaison with SE International Relations division; and identified lead academics and NHSS staff in Scotland with an interest in harnessing mutually beneficial relationships between health professionals in Scotland and those in developing countries.
2.3 Practical SAHPM Project Examples
In the course of the SAHPM project, the team engaged in practical projects for SEHD (using KB and KT techniques) as a mechanism to establish credibility for knowledge transfer and knowledge brokerage as a concept, and a way of working, which would be able to improve the delivery of (in this case) SEHD policy objectives through better utilisation of evidence and social research in the policy cycle.
Examples of the work carried out by the SAHPM Team are provided below. The areas of activity were piloted to test KT and KB theory and practice, and did not necessarily represent NHSS priorities, however, all activity linked directly to SEHD Partnership Agreement commitments.
SAHPM facilitation of knowledge sharing events to inform SEHD policy priorities
The SAHPM team facilitated SEHD and OCR engagement in a range of knowledge sharing events throughout 2004-5. These events included:
- University of Edinburgh seminar The Scottish Executive health improvement policy agenda: opportunities and challenges for research/policy collaboration (May 2004).
- SAHPM presentation at Glasgow Caledonian University (October 2004) as part of a seminar series designed to provide a discussion forum between the University and policy community.
- Open Space People Space Conference Plenary Session, demonstrating cross cutting working between Health, Planning, and Social Economy/Voluntary Issues to a domestic and international audience (October 2004)
- Scottish School of Primary Care ( SSPC) end of initiative event From Joint Future to Community Health Partnerships and beyond: making research, audit, and performance measurement an asset to joint local working (November 2004)
- Caring for Health: Families and the NHSS (Jan 2005). A University of Edinburgh Centre for Research on Families and Relationships event to explore ways in which evidence providers can contribute to a better understanding of the role of families as potential partners in the development of the NHSS for the 21 st Century.
The events were important in identifying differences in approach to KT and KB events between the policy and academic communities; and provided a useful understanding of policy and academic boundary definitions on which topics, disciplines, and networks were suitable for inclusion in events to inform policy development or implementation. The events also provided Scottish academics with new opportunities for direct engagement with policy administrators.
Health and Environment cross cutting policy theme development
Groundwork on network development in the Executive, and liaison with partner organisations (notably research management colleagues in Forestry Commission) converged to identify health and environment as a emerging research theme within the UK and European Union-a topic which also chimed with SE's commitment to Environmental Justice. As a result, SAHPM took forward opportunities in this area:
- SAHPM team brokered Forestry Commission funding for a PhD to be taken forward at a CSO funded Unit (Research Unit in Health and Behavioural Change- RUHBC).
- SAHPM team had an interest in engagement with the ESFCOST Action network in order to identify ways in which SE can encourage Scottish institutions to maximise the benefits offered by European Union funding for research and networking. The SAHPM team participated in the first Management Committee meeting of the E39 COST Action Forests, Trees and Human Health and Wellbeing in May 2004, and subsequently (in collaboration with Forestry Commission and ESF) organised the inaugural meeting of the E39 COST Action in October 2004. This Conference included five working groups, and showcased innovative Scottish health improvement projects linked to the forest environment. 85 high profile European researchers attended the meeting and the Deputy Minister for Health hosted a reception for delegates at Bute House. Immediate outcomes of SAHPM organising the inaugural meeting were to enhance the visibility of Scotland in European networks; and to increase SE's understanding of the potential of COST Actions prior to possible SE liaison with COST officials in 2005. Scottish Academics have encountered difficulty breaking into European funding and policy development networks and OCR is now taking forward liaison which may have the potential to improve Scottish access to European Science Foundation ( ESF) funded research networks, and knowledge of other European Union funding mechanisms. SAHPM team also embedded SE policy engagement in the four year COST Action through supporting SE analysts' membership of Working Groups on forest products and health; and the mental health benefits of forests.
- As part of ongoing liaison with Countryside Recreation Network the SAHPMPRO identified suitable Scottish case studies for the groundbreaking piece of CRN commissioned work by Professor Jules Pretty on identifying links between countryside recreation and health A Countryside for Human Health and Wellbeing. SAHPM brokered SECMO involvement in the launch of the report, and OCRKT team has continued cross cutting liaison within SE on health and environment themes.
Convention of expert roundtable to consider health service delivery in remote and rural areas
The SAHPM Consultation in 2003 drew a strong rural response and as part of wider networking activity, SAHPM developed national, European and international connections with rural health experts. As a result of this engagement, and following on from assistance provided to policy colleagues on rural health issues in 2003-4, SAHPM brokered a roundtable meeting in Inverness in November 2004 with the Centre for Rural Health (see www.abdn.ac.uk/crh); NHSS; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; SE; academics from University of the Highlands and Islands and University of Glasgow; and the Voluntary Sector to discuss priority issues in rural health. This meeting provided useful soundings from rural health interests for SE following conclusion of the Rural and Remote Areas Research Initiative ( RARARI). SAHPM liaison on rural health issues has also enabled SEHD to consider options for increased public, patient and voluntary sector involvement in discussion of health service delivery in rural and remote parts of Scotland.
Management of the Draft Sexual Health and Relationship Strategy consultation and consultation responses analysis
SAHPM project managed the Draft Sexual Health and Relationship Strategy consultation process, and supervised the analysis of written and non-written responses to the consultation. SAHPM also provided close management of the publication and dissemination of the analysis of consultation responses, demonstrating the benefits of team working between analysts and policy teams in SEHD.
Management and review of SEHD consultation analysis 2004-5
In addition to their work on the above consultation, SAHPM was called upon to project manage the analysis and dissemination of the responses to a further seven SEHD consultations. This involved close team working with a range of policy administrators in SEHD. In the light of the demand for analytical support for consultation project management and analysis of responses SAHPM conducted a review of current and projected future SEHD analytical requirements in relation to consultation processes.
Brokering research issues and topic liaison for SEHD
Throughout the project, SAHPM Team have offered professional research support and advice to colleagues in SEHD on a wide range of issues including intelligence gathering on partnership agreement commitments; procurement; project specification; consultation management; liaison with external experts; and guidance on outward focus research related engagement with stakeholders and interest groups. SAHPM has also liaised with the recently established ESRC Genomics Research Forum and identified the cross cutting nature of SE engagement with genomics research.
Creating an SEHD publication series.
The SAHPM team identified that no publication series was available for publication of HD research and consultancy reports, and used the OCR Dissemination Team to establish a publication series which can be used to publish and disseminate SEHD research and consultancy outputs.
The project work carried out by SAHPM team has demonstrated the potential for knowledge brokers in SEHD to provide an efficient interface between the SEHD demands for evidence to inform policy, and the academic community and other evidence providers.
2.4 Sustainable Benefits for SEHD; Government Social Research; and Scottish Executive
2.4.1 Joint Working with ESRC on KM/ KT and KB Schemes
SAHPM and OCR collaborated with ESRC throughout 2004-5 on piloting KT and capacity building schemes to improve the levels of working confidence between the policy and academic communities in Scotland and have created the circumstances for positive movement in the three areas of activity outlined below. These three initiatives are now being taken forward by the OCRKT team to support Executive-wide knowledge transfer.
SEHD/ SAHPM/ ESRC Sponsored PhD Scheme
The SAHPM team took forward extensive liaison regarding engagement with ESRC Collaborative Awards for Science and Engineering ( CASE) studentship proposals and development of policy relevant/applied PhDs. Discussions were held with target academics and potential PhD students; the academic manager of the current ODPM/ ESRC sponsored PHD scheme; and with lead officials at ESRC. The purpose of SAHPM developing CASE applications was to:
- Support PhD research to inform the development or implementation of Scottish Executive policy
- Encourage the use of applied research to inform public sector service delivery
- Build knowledge transfer and knowledge brokerage capacity in a PhD cohort group
- Create a collaborative network of informed and engaged PhD supervisors supporting policy relevant research in Scotland
- Encourage the potential for Scottish, and wider UK, Universities to retain and grow emerging academic talent with the skill set to provide utilitarian research output for a policy audience
As a result of these discussions, SE is now working with ESRC to take forward a generic SE/ ESRC sponsored PhD programme. A PhD scheme offers immediate benefit to participating academics and Universities (through the RAE scheme); and longer term benefit to the policy community by increasing the capacity of academics of the future to engage in policy relevant research. NHSS also has the potential to consider cloning the systems anticipated to develop through the SE/ ESRC scheme.
Following discussions with NHSS, SAHPM team have flagged that PhD students undertaking work with NHSS would be expected to contribute to improving health service delivery and health outcomes. Likewise, SE has expressed an intention for the proposed scheme to include significant blocks of work experience in SE. The proposed scheme has the potential to offer value for money for SE, SEHD, and NHSS if collaboration on supervision, training and work experience arrangements can be coordinated centrally.
ESRC Knowledge Transfer Placements
Scottish Executive has previously seconded academics to policy or research teams under a variety of arrangements, and SAHPM/ OCR held discussions with ESRC on whether SEHD, SAHPM or NHSS would wish to engage with the proposed ESRCKnowledge Transfer Placement Scheme. The SAHPM team flagged the importance of this scheme attracting high quality placements who intended to 'return to base' after their placement rather than viewing this as a stepping stone to an alternative career. SEOCRKT team are now (autumn 2005) leading discussions leading discussions with ESRC on piloting this scheme in SE.
ESRC Public Policy Seminars
ESRC Public Policy Seminars aim to present independent research in key policy areas to potential users in government, politics the media and private and voluntary sectors. Following discussions initiated by the SAHPM team liaison on joint ESRC/ SE seminars, SEOCR Knowledge Transfer team are taking forward discussions with ESRC with a view to establishing a biannual Scottish policy seminar series.
2.4 Innovation in Applied and Action Research
SAHPM has liaised through the project with researchers whose work advocates the development of collaborative working in the generation, creation, dissemination and utilisation of knowledge, and who argue that traditional models of research isolate knowledge and researchers from practice and context, hence creating an unnecessary distance between research and practice. SAHPM argued that research produced in this way is perceived to be abstract, with little relevance to the complicated work environments of NHSS, and has therefore advocated NHSS engagement in action research and applied research and organisational learning from the outset.
Supporting this assumption, the SAHPM consultation showed that stakeholders prioritised applied research and action research, and SAHPM subsequently brokered liaison between Research for Real, a leading Scottish action research company, and NHS Argyll and Clyde to develop ideas for taking forward action research practice in the NHSS. Following a meeting of the SAHPM Action Research Topic Group, Argyll and Clyde NHSS hosted a practice-oriented workshop ' Action Research: Developing Leadership Capacity'.
SE Office of Chief Researcher has subsequently funded a short piece of work to explore the potential of action research to improve public sector delivery (using NHSS as an initial test-bed) which is due to be disseminated in autumn 2005.
2.5 SAHPM Brokerage of Education and Learning Provision
NHSS contains self organising communities of knowledge and practice, and formal and informal networks comprising of groups and individuals who are equipped with the knowledge and experience to improve service delivery in NHSS. This organisational context led the SAHPM team to engage in work to ensure that the intellectual assets, organisational learning, and expertise of front line staff had the potential to be captured and shared. As a result SAHPM team identified options for the provision of a co-ordinating framework to enable relationships between these communities to develop and grow to mutual benefit. The SAHPM team's activity in this area included:
- exploration of the potential for NHSS front line staff to undertake internal consultancy
- work with the Continuing Professional Development providers in Scotland and the Improvement Service to explore how Scottish providers can be responsive to the needs of the health service and public sector partners
- facilitation of Johnson and Johnson industry sponsorship of two NHSS attendees at the INSEAD management training programme
- facilitation of liaison between University of Tilburg, NHSS, and University of Glasgow to discuss the potential for a European health management development programme
- collaborative management training and development
- facilitation of ongoing dialogue between SEHD, NHSS and e-learning providers
- discussion between UK and overseas potential contributors to a virtual SAHPM faculty
- legitimisation of social and organisational learning through engagement with field leaders in e-learning
2.6 SAHPMKT/ KB Process: Concluding Observations
The work of the SAHPM team reported in section 2 showed that networks and communities of practice have a key role to play in knowledge transfer and knowledge brokerage. From the outset the SAHPM project has focused on 'relationships between people' rather than traditional transactional models of research interaction, and recognised the importance of the human dynamic in KT and KB. The SAHPM project has also emphasised the importance of key competencies and 'people skills' which create the environment for KT and KB to occur.