PROSPER study

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Funded by NIHR logo

The PROSPER study: suPporting Role Of SPecialist sERvices

A mixed methods, co-research study of the role, funding and commissioning of specialist services provided by the voluntary sector in England.

This is the first national study of voluntary sector services for survivors in England. It will take three years and look at how to improve the delivery and funding of these services. This will have benefits for survivors by helping to meet their needs and identify any gaps in provision. It will help funders to improve how they go about working together to fund these services.

This project is funded by NIHR https://www.fundingawards.nihr.ac.uk/award/18/02/27

Key researchers

Dr Caroline Bradbury-JonesProfessor Caroline Bradbury-Jones, 

Chief Investigator

View profile

Project Description

  • Over half a million people experience sexual violence each year and the number who report this to police or come forward for help is increasing every year. Sexual violence can affect peoples’ health, relationships, confidence, work and family life for many years. Most parts of the country have voluntary sector services to help survivors, offering counselling, therapy, independent advice, peer support and helplines. There has been very little research into what survivors want from and value about these services, how these services link with other important services for survivors, and how they are funded by councils, the police and health services.
  • This is the first national study of voluntary sector services for survivors in England. It will take three years and look at how to improve the delivery and funding of these services. This will have benefits for survivors by helping to meet their needs and identify any gaps in provision. It will also help funders to improve how they go about working together to fund these services. The high cost to the NHS of treating the long-term impacts of sexual violence for survivors may also be reduced if more survivors can access support. Survivors are essential to the project and have been consulted in planning the study. Survivors’ experiences feed into all stages of the work through an independent panel run by the Survivors’ Trust. Two survivors are on the research team and 4 co-researchers who are survivors will work with the research team, helping to plan the study, interview survivors and interpret findings. An Advisory Group of national experts will guide the study.

There are two stages to the project:

Stage 1

two national surveys to identify what services are provided in England and how they are planned and funded. Focus groups with survivors, providers and funders will test out what should be in the surveys. National policy leads and national organisations supporting survivors will also be interviewed.

Stage 2

will study four parts of the country in more detail. The results from stage 1 will be used to pick four locations that offer different types of service. In these four areas there will be interviews with survivors, staff and funders to find out: what services exist; how survivors find their way to different services; what is valued about these services; what gaps there are; and how well funders work together to fund the services

We will use results from Stages 1 and 2 to provide knowledge about how services are planned and provided across the country. We will make recommendations about how the planning, funding and provision of services can be improved in future. Results will be publicised through good practice guides, regional events, a webinar, plain English summaries, a policy briefing and academic articles.

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Co-production with survivors

This study places survivors centrally to the process and outcomes. Survivors’ experiences feed into all stages of the work through an independent panel run by the Survivors’ Trust. Survivors are members of the research team and four co-researchers will be employed as part of the research team, helping to plan the study, interview survivors and interpret findings. As a result of this approach, all the outputs from the project will be co-produced with survivors. In addition to survivors, the study also receives input from an Advisory Group of national experts that guide the study.

Would you like to take part?

Stage 1a: Survey development - interviews with providers and commissioners and focus groups with survivors

From December 2019 – March 2020, we will be designing and developing the national provider and commissioner surveys. We will be carrying out three focus groups with survivors (one with adult women, adult men and young women aged 16 and 17 years old).

We will also be carrying out telephone interviews with providers and commissioners, working in the voluntary and statutory sector, exploring their views about how services are provided, how they work together and to what extent current provision meets survivors’ needs. If you have knowledge or expertise in this area, please do get in touch. Contact Dr Clare Gunby (tel: 0121 414 3345) or Dr Louise Isham (tel: 0121 414 8591) to find out more.

Meet the team

PI(s): 

Professor Caroline Bradbury-Jones

Carrie is a nurse, midwife and health visitor whose research interests are concerned with addressing gender based violence. Carrie leads the Prosper study

Co-applicants

Sarah is mixed methods researcher with research experience in the organisation and delivery of health, social care and community services. Sarah is a co-applicant and leads the survey phase of the study.

  • Kirsten Fruin

Kirsten is a Commissioning Manager within the office of Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner. She is responsible for commissioning local victim services and has the lead around sexual violence work. Kirsten is a co-applicant and provides advice and guidance about the commissioning of sexual violence services.

Jenny has experience both working in and conducting research with voluntary and community sector organisations, and is interested in personalised approaches to health and care. Jenny is a co-applicant and leads a case study phase of the study. 

  • Alice Jones
  • Ms Fay Maxtead OBE

Fay is CEO of The Survivors Trust, national membership organisation for voluntary sector rape and sexual abuse services, and will provide specialist advice to assist with planning, design and results interpretation.

  • Ms Priti Parmar

Priti is a Research and Innovation Manager, has experience in setting up research within the NHS and is an advocate of patient and public involvement in health research. Priti is a co-applicant who has a focus on Public Patient Involvement.

Jason is a social worker, has a particular interest in LGBT young people, and will be leading one of the case sites. 

  • Ms Deb Smith

Deb is a survivor of sexual violence and brings that lived experience as one of the two patient and public co-applicants and over 8 years experience in working as a lay person in health and social care research.

Julie is a nurse with significant experience of research with survivors of abuse and violence. Julie is the mentor to the principal investigator and the study lead on child protection issues. 

 Research fellows

Clare has been researching sexual violence for over 15 years, volunteers for a specialist voluntary sector sexual violence service and manages the day-to-day running of PROSPER.

Louise has worked as a social worker and crisis worker in statutory and voluntary sector services. Her research focuses on care relationships and family and sexual violence. Louise is a research fellow on the study.     

 Study manager

  • Mrs Pamela Nayyar

With over 20 years’ experience in health sciences research, Pam’s role on the study is to provide structured project management and monitoring to ensure project timelines are adhered to.

Publications

Please contact us for more details:

Email: prosper@contacts.bham.ac.uk