MySupportBroker (MSB) is a registered social business working across England. MSB provides a radical new health and social care service with support brokers whose skills, qualifications and personal experience help people with health conditions take control to live their best lives.
MSB recruits and trains people with personal experience of long term physical or mental health condition as Support Brokers to help customers source plan and manage their care and support.
Level on Standards: Level 2 - they have captured data that shows positive change, but they cannot confirm they caused this.
Evaluator: The McPin Foundation
Aim: Through its evaluation, MySupportBroker intends to explore how peer support brokerage impacts on the wellbeing of MSB customers.
Method: MySupportBroker carried out a total of 35 semi-structured interviews for the evaluation: 17 MSB customers or family carers; 7 peer support brokers; 6 local authority staff; and 5 MSB staff working at a strategic level. An initial pre-/post- evaluation using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being scale was abandoned due to ethical issues.
Why this Level: Whilst the evaluation has no pre-post data – the primary criteria for Level 2 – this is justifiably explained in terms of ethical concerns. And the qualitative approach that was undertaken instead has a number of key strengths: a) a good number of interviews, b) a robust sampling method, c) a robust and transparent analysis approach, d) a good number of direct quotes (to minimise interpreter bias), e) quantitative reference to how common the different themes were, and f) openness about some of the less positive findings / constructive feedback on the programme.
Progress: This robust qualitative evaluation has significantly deepened MySupportBroker’s evidence of impact. It has also given lots of insights and recommendations on improving the implementation of the model going forward.
Conventional research approaches need to be adapted in line with person centred approaches if they are to be applied effectively and ethically in health and social care contexts where people have complex sets of personal experiences.
To develop customer centric evaluation measures that can be used for customers to self-measure their progress over time and rate to what extent they feel MSB impacted on that progress.