Words First - Mini Triumph

1) What did you change about the way that you evidence/evaluate?

Time allocated for research and journal club

Our director has recently created a 'resource development and research' team to design, implement and test innovative approaches to speech, language and literacy. From September this year I have been allocated one day per week to focus solely on the research side of this team. This is a fantastic opportunity and has allowed me the flexibility and time to really evaluate what we are doing as a company.

I now have time to set up controlled intervention studies (in collaboration with researchers at the Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour, and Achievement, Coventry University) to investigate whether what we are doing is effective, whether some groups of children are more likely to benefit from interventions than others and developing the interventions to ensure that they are as effective as possible. I have also set up a journal club to allow all members of the Word First team to keep up to date with the current literature more easily.

2) What impact has this had on your organisation?

It is still early days but we are hoping to see a big impact on the company as well as speech and language therapy as a whole. Building up our evidence base will allow us to continue to improve our interventions so that we can provide the best possible package of care to our children and ultimately make a positive and lasting contribution to the profession.

I also hope that through the introduction of things like journal club, a focus on research will help to provide accessible channels for research to influence practice and embed reflective practice.

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