Name: Cath Harris
Organisation: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
Who asked: The Allied Health Professionals Research Forum
What did they say? The Allied Health Professionals Research Forum meets every two months to provide support and encouragement to AHPs in the Trust to get them involved in doing research. I was originally asked to do a session on Library resources and literature searching for the group, and following this I thought it would be a good forum for trying out an Espresso Café*. I approached the group chair with this idea and she agreed it would be a good exercise for the group to try.
What did you do? Katie Nicholas had done a session on Espresso Cafés with the Clinical Librarians group, so I contacted her for help. She kindly shared her slide deck with me and gave me some good advice about running the session. I used Katie’s slides as a basis for my presentation and I worked with the Chair of the AHP Research Forum to come up with a suitable question as Katie had advised that the question and wording were important to the success of the session. The group had previously discussed the issue of band 5 AHPs coming from University with lots of good research skills but then not getting a chance to use them once they got into their clinical case load and their role. They tend to only start getting involved in research project in more senior roles by which time they have lost the skills they once had. We therefore used the question “How can we engage Band 5 AHPs in research actitives?” I ran the Espresso Café at a session in July.
How did it help? The session went well and got all the members of the group talking. At the end of the session we put together a list of actionable insights so the group came away with some practical things they could put in place in their own teams. I got some good feedback from participants who said they enjoyed it and felt that as it was a fairly short and focussed session it was a good format. As a facilitator I think that the Espresso Café format is really productive for relatively little effort. A few participants asked about the possibility of running them at other meetings and forums so I may get the chance to facilitate some further sessions in the future.
*An Espresso Café is a shorter, simpler version of a Knowledge Café, and can be run in as little as 30 minutes. You can also view the KM story on Knowledge Cafés.