The Q Improvement Lab (Q Lab) has launched the Lab Essays – an online collection of
essays capturing the learning and insights from the Lab’s 12-month pilot project exploring what it would take to make peer support more widely available.
Read the online essays here: https://qlabessays.health.org.uk/. The Lab was launched in 2017, is led and delivered by the Health Foundation and co-funded by NHS Improvement.
The Lab is part of Q – a connected community of thousands with experience and expertise in improving health and care https://q.health.org.uk/ and works with people from across the UK to test a bold new approach to making progress on health and care challenges.
Collaborating with a diverse group of Lab participants, the Lab sought to understand the
challenges and opportunities for peer support, and develop ideas that collectively would help to make progress on the topic. The essays capture what was learned about peer support, building on and referring to the current evidence and literature base, as well as drawing on experiential and tacit knowledge about peer support.
The essay collection also features the results of a nationwide survey on what is important to different groups of people when deciding whether to refer, recommend or use peer support services. Launched in December 2017, 2666 people completed the survey and so it is believed to be the biggest survey of its kind in the UK.
The purpose of the essays is to support improvement in current peer support projects and initiatives, and inspire people to think about how peer support can be used to improve health care for people in the UK. The collection will consist of six essays in total, so look out for the remaining three that will be published early August. These will focus on the wider learning from the pilot project, specifically how the Lab aims to achieve impact, ways of working and approach to evaluation.
If you have any questions or feedback about the essays, please do not hesitate to get in
touch with the team at Qlab@health.org.uk. For further information about the Lab visit