About the Centre

Practice development is an internationally recognised philosophy, methodology and approach for sustainable transformation that achieves multiple aims including:

  • Transforming care and services so that they are person-centred, safe and effective
  • Creating good places to work
  • Ensuring that the best evidence and research informs everyday practice.

As embedded researchers we work alongside citizens and practitioners to appreciatively develop evidence based research insights into WHAT WORKS through a live living lab social model of collaboration and co-creation to identify practical evidence based solutions. We are increasingly working with communities through asset based approaches to enable and empower self help, self care and capacity building in communities to innovate from the inside out, connecting all the talents and skills of local place based strengths in communities.

Central to this is the Venus Model for person centred sustainable transformation (Manley and Jackson 2018) which integrates a body of philosophy, theory and systematic tools widely acknowledged as being essential ingredients for successful change in any context. Through our research approach we work appreciatively with people to develop their own knowledge, skills, competence and confidence in the research process so that they are empowered to continue to both own and sustain the change themselves beyond the life of the project. This is because our approach also focuses on developing capacity and capability for transformational leadership skills, facilitation of learning, development innovation and improvement in the workplace, and culture change skills.

We specialise in implementation science, realist evaluation and participatory research methods With very well developed partnerships across a wide variety of public, private and voluntary sectors, the Centre is able to draw upon the expertise of a wide range of experts to test out ideas, promote application of research in practice, and generate expert opinion rapidly. This means that we can build social capital quickly and scale up ideas. Many of our outcomes have been adopted by NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve services, systems and workforce development.

Our impact case studies and core research excellence themes focus on:

  1. Developing integrated whole systems approaches across the health economy to deliver person centered, safe and effective care to enhance citizen and population health and wellbeing.
  2. Multidimensional workforce development models that capture evidence of the complexity of care across different contexts for commissioning of future integrated services, workforce planning and skill mix.
  3. Workplace programmes that develop holistic skills in the facilitation of learning, inquiry, practice development, quality and service improvement to enhance the effectiveness of care at the front line.
  4. Supporting organisations to undertake impact evaluation of innovations at multiple levels, develop shared purpose frameworks and co-produce collaborative tools and frameworks that underpin whole systems change.
  5. Creating a critical mass of transformational leaders at the front line with culture change skills to underpin sustainable person centered workplaces that focus on well being for all.


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Last edited: 24/07/2018 07:55:00