Peer support in clinical and healthcare settings

Peer support that is embedded and integrated into a health system pathway, including inpatient peer support. It is often delivered in a hospital or similar clinical setting and is accessed via a referral from a doctor or other healthcare professional. While the support offered is not always facilitated by medical personnel, it is often funded as part of a course of treatment by the NHS (or similar body in international or private healthcare situations).

So if we like the idea of peer workers, why aren't we seeing more?

This article describes the potential barriers to peer workers and ways that organisations can overcome these challenges. The paper describes findings from a study on the levers and barriers to the development of peer worker roles in two Scottish health board areas. Findings suggest that new evidence on effective implementation and cost effectiveness should be prioritised. It suggests that a policy commitment to peer working would be reinforced by not only a strengthened evidence base but also strengthened accountability mechanisms.

Peer support in secure settings

This report provides evidence on the effectiveness of peer support for those expperiencing mental health concerns in prisons. It follows an extensive evaluation with workshops and a literature review. It provides suggestions for developing, embedding and expanding peer support in prison settings as well as case studies.

The peer program makes a big difference

This video provides a case study of peer support experiences from the perspective of a peer mentor and a peer mentee. The video describes what the mentoring relationship looks like, the types of activities the peer mentor will undertake, and the impact of the programme on the mentee. This video could be used as a tool to explain some of the benefits of peer support and may contain learning points for programmes wishing to develop or expand.

The power of peers to change lives

This video provides a case study of two peer support programme experiences from the perspective of two HIV healthcare professionals who were originally sceptical but who are now supportive. They explain the impact that peer support has had on their patients and what peer support workers can do that they as health professionals can't. This video could be used as a tool for encouraging better integration with healthcare services and may contain learning points for programmes wishing to develop or expand.

Best practice for breastfeeding peer support. A practical guide for those purchasing breastfeeding support

This guide is designed to give NHS managers involved in commissioning breastfeeding peer support services an insight into what a good quality, effective initiative should include. The guide aims to give an understanding of some of the pitfalls of running a programme and looks at peer recruitment, training, retention, supervision and funding. The guide appears to be the collective experience of people who have run breastfeeding peer support programmes. It does not appear to have engaged with service users and has not conducted new or independent research.

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