Our Closing the Gap through Changing Relationships programme funded seven projects, which aimed to change one or more of three types of relationships:

  • between the individual using a service and those who work in health care provision
  • between people using services and the wider health care system
  • between communities and the wider health care system.

This is the report of the programme evaluation carried out by the Office for Public Management (OPM). They were asked to look at

  • how and whether each of the projects led to relationships changing;
  • how change was experienced by the different actors;
  • the key barriers to, and promoters of, success.

In addition to the evaluation report, an ‘improvement story’ was developed for each of the projects. These stories are available to download in the supplement to the report.

The evaluation found that changing relationships is about fundamental change and requires an explicit and sustained focus. It is not something that can simply be articulated or aspired to and then left to happen on its own. Relationships do not change simply because of good intentions. In order to be purposive and stay focused, it is vital to:

  • make changing relationships an explicit objective, state its centrality, and explain the rationale behind this
  • make changing relationships tangible to all key stakeholders in terms of what it looks like in practice. Individuals and groups can then act purposively and reflect on their behaviours on an ongoing basis
  • spell out the likely implications of relationship change, and put in place effective plans to capture and disseminate the evidence of benefits as well as to minimise any anticipated or perceived adverse effects.

Additional person-centred care resources

If you’re interested in person-centred care then take a look at our dedicated Person-centred care resource centre for hundreds of practical tools, materials and downloads.

Further reading

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