Midlothian observational research - Case Study

Midlothian observational research - Case Study

Midlothian observational research

Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership aimed to transform traditional models of care to enable the increasing numbers of people living with frailty to achieve their best possible quality of life.

The Partnership used a number of research methods to gather and make sense of information and knowledge to understand existing services and people’s experiences. An early part of the multi-stage research involved using observational research methods. Researchers from the DHI supported the partnership, and observed:

  • A multidisciplinary frailty meeting, and
  • A British Red Cross ‘What Matters?’ frailty assessment in a person’s home.

This provided the opportunity to gather insight into how specific innovations were working in practice and to identify areas for potential improvement.

Photo: Pexels

Photo: Pexels


Multidisciplinary Team Meeting

The researcher observed a regular meeting of the fortnightly Multidisciplinary Team assessment meeting. This meeting, attended by the GP, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, the Red Cross team manager and team members and an administrator, focuses on case review and assessment of people living with frailty. The aims are to expedite care to prevent imminent crisis, as well as to have more information about people when making decisions so that care can be better coordinated and aligned to the person’s needs.

The researcher reviewed detailed meeting noted and analysed themes related to the service mapping. Key insights were identified relating to multidisciplinary decision making, technology issues, capacity issues and collaboration.

British Red Cross ‘What Matters’ Assessment

Following referral from a GP, and consent by the service user, the British Red Cross provide a holistic assessment during a 1-2 hour service visit. The aim of the assessment is to assist and support people to remain at home and in their local communities. The Red Cross can provide advice, information and practical support, and the Service Coordinator will continue to provide follow up support until the agreed actions have been completed.

After seeking consent, the DHI researcher observed the assessment, making notes about the process and mapping insights against the framework of emerging themes identified through the service mapping, multidisciplinary meeting and interview data.

The observational research methods were particularly useful for capturing and observing interactions with services. This enabled the researcher to capture aspects of the service which people might find more difficult to put into words.


Hints and tips:

Things to consider in planning observational research:

  • Information/tips about observation process, setting up, getting consent
  • Analysing the results [consider how you will record notes, do you have a framework for analysing or theming the results, confidentiality]
Last Updated: 23 February 2024