Designing a recovery-orientated system of care: A community operational research perspective



Walsh M, Kittler MG, Throp M & Shaw F (2019) Designing a recovery-orientated system of care: A community operational research perspective. European Journal of Operational Research, 272 (2), pp. 595-607.

Theory suggests health focused Community Operational Research (COR) projects and their participants can benefit from balancing a “glass half empty” concern for deficits, problems and weaknesses with a “glass half full” concern for identifying health assets and bringing them into use. We present a COR systemic intervention in the care of persons with addiction and substance use/ misuse problems in Clydeplace, Scotland (anonymised). Our research reveals how the Whole Person Recovery System is situated within a wider General Community Recovery System that offers a variety of health assets that can be mobilised to create and increase recovery capital. The project involved 20 semi-structured interviews, two asset mapping workshops, a certificated “health issues” course completed by seven “champions”, and action planning and implementation. In the interviews participants found gaps were more easily identified than assets. During the workshops participants identified 388 discrete assets and gaps, prioritised these using a simple voting system and developed a series of actions to mobilise health assets including bringing into use local facilities and amenities and involving a number of individuals and groups in local events and activities. Our study suggests that even in the impoverished system of Clydeplace, a “Community Catalyst” in the form of a Community Operational Researcher can act to stimulate the co-development of health assets, build relationships and enable the creation of social capital. It is not clear though when such systems become “self-catalysing.”

Community Operational Research; substance misuse; recovery capital; health assets; systems;

European Journal of Operational Research: Volume 272, Issue 2

FundersNHS Lothian, Technology Strategy Board, Scottish Government, NHS Highland, NHS Lothian, Technology Strategy Board, NHS Lothian and Technology Strategy Board
Publication date16/01/2019
Publication date online22/06/2018
Date accepted by journal17/05/2018

Projects (4)

KTP NHS Lothian.

Community nursing workforce planning

NHS Lothian KTP

Healthcare Quality Strategy - Scottish Government