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Our partnership with Developing Evidence Enriched Practice (DEEP)

We’ve been funding Developing Evidence Enriched Practice (DEEP) since April 2023.

What is DEEP?

DEEP is a co-production approach to gathering, exploring and using different types of evidence in the development of social care policy and practice.

Co-production means working with and involving individuals, their family, friends and carers to make sure their care and support is the best it can be.

The DEEP approach brings people together to think and talk about different types of evidence.

It uses story-telling and other learning methods that focus on conversation to create and present the evidence in an engaging way.

DEEP’s definition of evidence brings together:

  • research evidence
  • wisdom and knowledge of practitioners and organisations
  • knowledge and perspectives of people using care and support.

The DEEP approach aims to find and address issues that get in the way of using evidence in practice, as well as nurturing learning and development that’s led by the people involved, not imposed on them.

Based at Swansea University and Bangor University, it was developed through a project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Health and Care Research Wales.

That project focused on using evidence to improve the lives of older people with high support needs in Wales. DEEP has since been developed further and put into practice across adult and children’s services.

What has DEEP achieved so far?

The DEEP approach and methods have been used to support learning and development across a range of social care and health services, including:

  • support for unpaid carers by rethinking and remodelling approaches to respite care
  • community development projects co-produced with people using services
  • a tool to support outcome-focused recording, which means noting the outcomes that matter to people and recording whether these outcomes have been achieved
  • national policy relating to people living with dementia.

Why are we partnering with DEEP?

We have a remit from Welsh Government to support people working in social care to use research and data and to find ways to innovate.

Welsh Government’s Performance and Improvement Framework requires local authorities and their partners to show how they’re using evidence in practice, planning and policymaking. It asks them to go beyond performance indicators to explore the experience and outcomes of the people they support.

We think using DEEP approaches can support people working across social work and social care with the tools to explore and make sense of evidence together.

What can we achieve together?

We’ve always worked closely with DEEP, but that relationship has been strengthened by our new partnership.

The focus will be on our work around research, innovation and improvement skills for people working across social care.

Together we’ll:

  • offer bite-sized training on DEEP principles and methods
  • develop learning opportunities for story-telling skills
  • develop learning opportunities for evaluation skills
  • support and build our Evidence Community, which brings together people researching, working in and using social care
  • develop our other communities of practice, including one for place-based care and one for responsible individuals.

Free online courses

Want to know more?

Visit the DEEP website for more information.

First published: 25 July 2023
Last updated: 10 January 2024
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