Recent Publications

We have a number of publications available.

Supporting Carers of People with Dementia: Research for the Carers Trust

Evaluation of Phase Two of the Health Foundation Co-creating Health Programme,1TSWP,60WS7Z,6JEGY,1

Acupuncture, Counselling and Usual Care for Depression (ACUDep) Trial: Exploring the Experiences of Acupuncturists, Counsellors and General Practitioners in treating depression

Keeping personal budgets personal: learning from the experiences of older people, people with mental health problems and their carers. Social Care Institute for Excellence. Adults Services report 40. Published February 2011.


Current Applied Research Projects

Hull and York Medical School
Evaluation of the value of primary care based undergraduate medical education and its impact on preparedness for practice, development as a clinician and career intentions

Across Yorkshire and the Humber a significant proportion of undergraduate medical training is now undertaken in primary care placements, often in general practice. These placements are costly to provide but are very often highly rated by students for the quality of teaching. However, based on local feedback and the research literature, it is less clear to what extent the significant proportion of time spent within primary care is of perceived value to students in terms of their preparedness for practice, and of importance to recent graduates in terms of their overall clinical practice and their career intentions. Firefly Research is working alongside researchers from Hull York Medical School in order to contribute to addressing this gap in the knowledge base. The study is being funded by Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber and aims to explore the value and impact of primary care based undergraduate medical education on medical students’ preparedness for practice, and the development of medical students and young doctors as clinicians, including their career intentions and career pathways in the first few years after qualification from medical school. The study is being conducted across two medical schools in Yorkshire and the Humber – Hull York and Leeds. It will last approximately 12 months and involves a literature review and curriculum scoping review, interviews and focus groups with current students and new graduates and an online survey of Year 5 undergraduate students and recent graduates.

Parkinson’s UK
Improving Care for People with dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson’s dementia in Care Homes

Dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson’s dementia are under-recognised in the care home population and yet the symptoms associated with these conditions can be some of the hardest for care staff to manage. A new project for Parkinson’s UK, which we are carrying out in partnership with the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at the University of the West of Scotland aims to – estimate the number of people who are likely to have dementia with Lewy bodies/Parkinson’s dementia in care homes; explore how the particular needs of people with these conditions are recognised in care homes; and understand what kind of training and support care home staff would find most valuable in caring for these residents. More information about the project can be found here.




Current Evaluation Services Projects

The Thalidomide Trust
Monitoring the Ten Year Health Grant to Thalidomide-affected People

There is growing evidence, both here in the UK and internationally that Thalidomide-affected people are experiencing an increasing number of Thalidomide-related health problems as they age. They are also incurring significant costs in living with these problems. Following an earlier three year pilot Health Grant (evaluated by Firefly Research), the new ten year Health Grant funded by the Health Departments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (awarded from 2013 to 2023) is now in place. For many Thalidomide-affected people it will be central to managing their changing health needs and maintaining their quality of life. The Health Grant monitoring project, which the Thalidomide Trust has commissioned Firefly Research to undertake, will inform future discussions about the continuation of the Health Grant. It has three broad aims:

• To examine how the health of Thalidomide-affected people is changing over the life of the Grant
• To understand how people are using their Health Grants
• To explore the difference the Grant is making to their lives

The project, which runs from 2013 to 2020 has two main elements:

• A health related quality of life and employment survey of all Thalidomide-affected people in the UK (using SF12 Health Related Quality of Life questionnaire and together with a number of ‘bespoke’ questions)
• Annual in depth telephone interviews with around 40 Thalidomide-affected people, designed to explore current or recent Thalidomide-related health problems, the use of the Health Grant, and the future plans and issues

The report from the first year of the monitoring project will be available on the Thalidomide Trust Website shortly ( )

York Citizens Advice Bureau
Evaluation of  Family Money Advice Project

Despite being one of Britain’s most prosperous cities, York has around 4,700 children living in poverty. The Family Money Advice project is central to York CAB’s work to eliminate child poverty in the city, and is an important part of the multi-agency York Child Poverty Strategy. The project, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, aims to provide outreach advice services to families living in the city’s five most deprived wards. The project began in September 2012 and will run for three years. Firefly Research is carrying out an evaluation of the project on behalf of York CAB with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The evaluation has been running since July 2013 and its main aims are to assess the overall impact of the Family Money Advice project, such as numbers of families reached, to explore the success of the approaches taken in the project and to gather specific information about families living in poverty in York to address gaps in current knowledge. There are four parts to the evaluation: collation and analysis of data already being collected by CAB; additional data collection with families; qualitative interviews with families and interviews with CAB staff and key contacts from the outreach centres.


Engagement and Consultation Services

The General Chiropractic Council: Research into the Views and Expectations of Patients of Chiropractic – The GCC is currently reviewing its proposed approach to the revalidation of chiropractors, and is keen to take account of patients’ perspectives as part of this work. Whilst much can be learned from the growing body of research into patients’ views, expectations and experiences of other complementary medicines, the GCC feels that a gap remains in relation to chiropractic patients’ views. To address this they have commissioned Firefly and the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York to undertake primary research into the views and expectations of chiropractic patients, in particular their assessment of the risks and benefits of chiropractic treatment, their expectations of chiropractors, and their experiences of them.  An information sheet explaining this work is available here.GCC Patient Views Research – Information sheet for chiropractors July 2012

Health Foundation: Evaluation of Co-production and Co-creation – Across health and social care there is growing interest in co-production. The evaluation of Co-creating Health 2 offers an opportunity to explore how organisations have harnessed patients’ knowledge and experience to sustain self-management support and, more widely, influence the shape of health services.  As part of the programme evaluation Firefly will be looking at how individual patients have been sustained through approaches such as peer support, reunions, work with community groups and group-based follow up activities. We will also examine how patients’ experiences and views have shaped the development of self-management support locally and created new ways of working between patients/communities and health services.

Useful References

Boyle D, Coot A, Sherwood C, and Slay J (2010) Right Here Right Now – Taking Co-production into the Mainstream  London:   NESTA

Boyle D, Slay J and Stephens L (2010) Public Services Inside Out – Putting co-production into practice London: NESTA

Needham C and Carr S (2009). SCIE Research briefing 31: co-production: an emerging evidence base for adult social care transformation. London: Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Bovaird, T. (2007) Beyond Engagement and Participation: User and Community Coproduction of Public Services. Public Administration Review  67(5):846–860