Innovation Exchange

Peer Research


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (NAHSCP) aims to engage with a diverse local audience to ensure what we do reflects the needs and aspirations of local people.


It was essential that people were able to express their views about our draft Strategic Plan. However, the initial consultation gathered approx 70 responses, mostly from professional sources. We invited trained peer researchers, local service users with lived experience of drug and alcohol misuse, to help us take a different approach.

Themes: Health and Social Care, Partnership and Collaboration

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In partnership with Arran Community Volunteer Service and supported by North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership, the researchers had input at every stage including design of the study, development of the questionnaire, data collection and interpretation.


From 17–28 February 2015, six peer researchers based themselves in three sites across North Ayrshire. They interviewed 279 members of the public about the Health and Social Care Partnership’s strategic priorities.

North Ayrshire residents have a shared understanding of the draft Strategic Plan, highlighting issues, commenting on our approach and developing a shared ownership of the key priorities. Recognising our clear expectations of high quality service delivery that promotes early intervention and prevention and tackles inequality head on.



The peer research findings significantly shaped the final strategic plan. Feedback highlighted that people did not understand ‘integrated services’ (reworded as ‘bringing services together’) and that easily understood language was needed.


NAHSCP was pleased to note over 92% of interviewees supported all five strategic priorities and was overwhelmed by 100% support for the mental health and wellbeing priority.


A lasting legacy and lessons learned from the peer research work is:

  • It’s a dialogue and one size doesn’t fit all – listen and adapt approaches
  • Plain English –lose the management speak and minimise clinical terms


People want to build their communities – we can create opportunities

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Eleanor McCallum

Engagement and Communications Officer

North Ayrshire Council

01294 317812

Case study added to site: June 2016

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