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LO1 Review the role of research in health and wellbeing improvement strategies

Post Date: 13 - Nov - 2023


Module Title 

Unit 18: Innovation and Improvement through Action Research

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Academic Year 2021/2022

Overview of the Module:

Why conduct research?’ It is an important and interesting question that should be considered when looking at ways to improve healthcare service provision. Some who embark on the research process find it can be daunting and see it as an obstacle to be overcome and swept aside as quickly as possible. Yet research can be a motivating and engaging experience, particularly for the researcher who is passionate about making a difference. Research can have a positive impact on local practice and policy, as well as promoting and informing global health Programmes.

Refining and using effective research skills and methods is key to being able to produce high-quality research that can contribute to developing a richer understanding of a phenomenon, driving improvements in public health and in healthcare

The aim of this unit is to develop student’s research skills further to be able to carry out an independent piece of action research using human participants to contribute to service improvement. Students will make use of the Practice Themes to identify a suitable research project or extend a proposed study devised at level 4.

Students will firstly develop a deeper understanding of the types of research conducted in public health and develop their research skills further to carry out a research study using their own research questions. Students will then go on to design their research methodology and carry out a piece of action research and produce findings to a range of audiences.

By the end of this unit students will be able to evaluate their research journey and its impact on their own practice and provision as well as its significance in contributing to wider public health service improvement. Students will be able to evaluate the success of their research and make recommendations for future research that extends or deepens understanding further.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this unit students will be able to:

1 Review the role of research in strategies to improve health and wellbeing

2 Develop a methodological framework for action research into health and wellbeing improvement

3 Carry out action research towards improvements in health and wellbeing

4 Examine the impact of research findings regarding service improvement and own professional development.

Essential Contents:

LO1 Review the role of research in health and wellbeing improvement Strategies.

Areas of health and wellbeing improvement:

Physical and/or mental health and wellbeing, e.g., safety or safeguarding/protection considerations

Social and/or socio-economic health and wellbeing, e.g., including health education, promotion and access to/use of services

Review of health and/or care service practice or provision to facilitate health and wellbeing improvement

Exploring the purpose of research for health and wellbeing improvement

Evidence-based practice

Ways that research can be used to innovate, e.g., to identify gaps in practice/provision, discover new treatments, develop quality of services, service improvement, towards improving life outcomes and health, wellbeing and safety of individuals, service improvement

Innovation in health and social care practice through research

New ways of working New ways of managing Introduction of new roles

Impact of research

Potential impact of research on practice and provision in health and social care - local and global

Potential impact on developing an integrated workforce and multi-professional working

Defining research topic focus and research questions

Identifying areas of research in health and wellbeing improvement using the Practice Themes and as applied to own role in the workplace

  • Exploring current research or thinking in the field through a literature review to assess merits of research, focus from current policy, news, media, own practice or research (secondary)
  • Exploring current research e.g., wellbeing, health inequalities, population health and social determinants of health (secondary)
  • Observing related practice in own setting, in other health, care or support service environments and gathering information (primary)
  • Considering primary and secondary evidence towards identifying area of innovation and service improvement for exploration
  • Defining research aims and objectives, e.g., research questions/hypotheses

Reviewing own skills in carrying out a piece of action research

Writing skills

  • Data collection and analysis skills using qualitative and quantitative methods Critical reflexivity skills
  • Applying original and creative thought to an area of health and wellbeing Improvement
  • Applying good ethical judgement to own and others’ research
  • Promoting ethical and participatory research, e.g., possessing strong communication and interpersonal skills to develop positive relationships with participants, consideration of individual needs
  • Organisational skills e.g. keeping a journal, planning and note taking
  • Persistence in pursuing research objectives approaching failure and mistake as an opportunity to learn and develop
  • Being able to ask difficult questions
  • Being flexible and showing initiative to access or gather information and Evidence
  • Critical observational skills

LO2 Develop a methodological framework for action research for health and wellbeing improvement.

Identifying and developing appropriate qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods to gather and analyze data

Meaning and application of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods design studies

Typical methods used for collecting data in health and social care research, i.e., case studies, questionnaires, surveys, interviews, vignettes, observations, focus groups

Considering the importance of reliability and validity through triangulation, appropriate use of methods to answer research questions and analyze data Advantages and disadvantages of different techniques

Probability and nonprobability methods of selecting sample groups, e.g. random, volunteer, stratified and opportunity sampling.

Consideration  participants to research when choosing appropriate methods to collect data, e.g. appropriateness and accessibility of participants

Ethical considerations when recruiting human participants

Codes of conduct and ethical guidelines as defined by health and/or social care public and professional bodies, or other professional organisation relevant to own practice

Legislation and regulation governing confidentiality, anonymity, and data handling, rights of the individual, safeguarding/protection, and health and safety

Role of the researcher and understanding impact of personal views and values brought to the research process

Maintaining an unbiased approach to interpretation and reporting of Information

Access to organisations, gatekeepers, sensitive information Review the role of research in strategies to improve health and wellbeing

Mental capacity of individuals in providing informed consent and those responsible for providing consent on behalf of individual users of services Gaining sensitive information to provide background for research study from individual participants

Ensuring individual needs of participants are met throughout research process, e.g., recognition when individual participants become distressed or wish to withdraw from research

Ensuring health, safety and wellbeing of self and participants during research Process

Codes of conduct relating to confidentiality, handling, and storing information

LO3 Carry out action research towards improvements in health and Wellbeing.

Organizing the process of research

Setting realistic timelines for completing action research study allowing for Contingencies

Preparing and seeking approval of research through a project proposal that details: research title, rationale for research study, research questions/hypothesis/es, methods used for data collection, methods used for analysis of data, impact of research on influencing or improving healthcare service provision

The process of carrying out action research and undertaking simple data Analysis

Collect data from research participants using methods of data collection Review questions against initial findings making adaptations where Appropriate

Conduct data analysis and present findings using qualitative and or quantitative methods

Data analysis techniques

Choosing appropriate techniques for data analysis

Quantitative techniques, e.g., descriptive statistics using mean mode median, histograms, pie, and bar charts

Qualitative techniques, e.g., content, or thematic analysis, grounded analysis, discourse and narrative analysis

Use of analytical tools and software and database packages used for manipulating data

Distinguishing between association and causation in relationship among Variables

LO4 Examine the impact of research findings regarding service improvement and own professional development

Drawing conclusions and presenting findings

  • Develop discussion based on findings and link to literature sourced in the field Reach conclusions and identify main findings of research
  • Present findings to individuals in specified formats, e.g., research report using required academic writing skills, PowerPoint, poster presentation
  • Evaluate performance and impact of research in public health, health Promotion
  • Lessons learned and future research direction Implications of research on own practice and organisation
  • Implications of research findings on wider practice and provision locally and Globally
  • Reflections on research journey and use of research as a tool for developing practice, driving change and contributing to supporting public health improvement
  • Identifying personal and professional development needs and setting targets

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria




LO1 Review the role of research in health and wellbeing improvement strategies

LO1 / LO2


D1 Critically evaluate how effectively research methodologies selected support proposed action research study in health and wellbeing improvement

P1 Discuss the role of research in defining research questions for a piece of action research in health and social care

P2 Review own skills in conducting a piece of action research into health and wellbeing improvement

M1 Evaluate own skills in defining research questions for a piece of action research in health and wellbeing improvement

LO2 Develop a methodological framework for action research in health and wellbeing improvement


P3 Illustrate in detail appropriate research methods for investigating research questions/hypothesis

P4 Discuss ethical considerations when researching human participants

M2 Analyse the methodological approach taken to answer research questions

LO3 Carry out action research towards improvements in health and wellbeing


P5 Implement a piece of action research in health and wellbeing improvement

P6 Interpret data using appropriate data analysis techniques

M3 Analyse research data from action research using appropriate data analysis techniques

D2 Critically analyse research findings using appropriate data analysis techniques

LO4 Examine the impact of research findings with regard to service improvement and own professional development



D3 Critically evaluate research study in terms of influencing change and its value in improving quality of health and social care service provision nationally and globally

P7 Discuss the potential impact of findings from action research study on health and wellbeing improvement

P8 Discuss own learning in research journey identifying strategies for future developmental needs in conducting ethical research into health and wellbeing improvement

M4 Evaluate how findings relate to research questions in supporting improvement in health and wellbeing and own professional development


To achieve a Pass for each unit, the learner must achieve each of the learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria. The assessment standard for a Pass is inherent within each of the assessment criteria and is determined in part by the command verb used, e.g., ‘evaluate different approaches. To achieve a Merit grade for a unit, students must achieve all of the Pass criteria and all Merit grade descriptors (M1, M2, M3, M4).

For a Distinction grade for a unit, students must achieve all the Pass criteria, all Merit grade descriptors (M1, M2, M3, M4) and all Distinction grade descriptors (D1, D2, D3). Students achieve each grade descriptor by providing evidence of at least one indicative characteristic identified by the assessor for each grade descriptor. In other words, students cannot achieve the Distinction grade if they have not evidenced all Pass and Merit elements.

The assessment on this unit will be made on the basis of submitting an assignment of approximately 4500 in total with +/- 10% margin. The learners can use tables and diagrams to illustrate the text. Review the role of research in strategies to improve health and wellbeing

The assignment outputs will be addressing all four LOs of the unit identified by the assessor for each grade descriptor. In other words, students cannot achieve the Distinction grade if they have not evidenced all Pass and Merit elements


2.1 External reference point

  1. QAA subject benchmark statement for health and social care for England is a key external reference point in relation to delivery of the present curriculum.
  2. The qualification remains as intermediate level qualifications on the FHEQ. Please, refer to Pearson program specification for RQF.
  3. These guidelines are drawn from GBS Employability Policy and the BTEC Levels 4 and 5 Higher Nationals specification in Health care Practice and in compliance with the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The Unit references the Management and Leadership National Occupational Standard in health care  practice  which  is also applied where appropriate in the guidelines.

2.2 Links within the HN programe:


This unit links with a number of units in the qualification, depending on the topic researched.









P6, M3, D2

2.3 Learning on the unit:

Students must be given time to develop  their  workplace  experience, knowledge and understanding before assessment of this unit. The learning on this unit is designed as an incremental process, so it is essential for learners to attend all sessions, as next step of effectively managing a small business in health and social care logically builds upon the preceding step. The learning will combine both theoretical material and practical in-class activities, which should be supported with independent study and essential reading.

The learning will involve analysis of several real-life case studies of small businesses in health and social environment in the UK. The learning will also be based on drawing implications from the prevailing government policies and practices in relation to developing small business enterprises in the UK. They will be expected to present evidence based substantially on their work in health, care and/or support services. Evidence against practice-based criteria can be collated in the Practical Learning and Development Portfolio (PLAD).

2.4 Mode of delivery:

The unit will include variety of learning techniques that are typically used in delivering a BTEC Higher National. This will include:

Lectures: These are the most common techniques used by tutors. They offer an opportunity to engage with many students, where the focus is on sharing knowledge using presentations.

Workshops: These are used to build on knowledge shared via tutors and seminars. Teaching can be more in-depth where knowledge is applied, for example to case studies or real-life examples. Workshops could be student-led, where students present, for example, findings from independent study.

Tutorials: These present an opportunity for focused one-to-one support, where teaching is led by an individual student’s requirements. These can be most effective in the run up to assessment, where tutors can provide more focused direction, perhaps based on a formative assessment.

VLE/GBS E-Learning: Used effectively, VLEs not only provide a repository for taught material such as presentation slides or handouts but could be used to set formative tasks such as quizzes. Further reading could also be located on a VLE, along with a copy of the program documents, such as the handbook and assessment timetable.

2.5 Assessment

  1. The Pearson BTEC HNC and HND Diploma units have been designed for the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) and are pitched at either Level 4 or 5.
  2. The process of assessment is a part of the effective planning of teaching and learning on this unit by providing opportunities for both the learner and assessor to obtain information about progress towards learning goals. The assessor and learner must be actively engaged in promoting a common understanding of the assessment criteria and the grade descriptors (what it is the learners are trying to achieve and how well they achieve it) for further learning to take place. Therefore, learners will be receiving constructive feedback and guidance about how they may improve by capitalizing on their strengths and clear and constructive comments about their weaknesses and how these might be addressed.

3. The assessment process on this unit split into two stages:

(a) Stage 1: Formative assessment. This is where the assessor and the student discuss ongoing progress on the assignment. The student is provided with formative feedback and may take action to improve the performance. Formative assessment feedback will be constructive and provide clear written actions for improvement.

Formative assessment is primarily developmental in nature and designed to give feedback to students on their performance and progress. Assessment designed formatively should develop and consolidate knowledge, understanding, skills and competencies. It is a key part of the learning process and can enhance learning and contribute to raising standards. Through formative assessment tutors can identify students’ differing learning needs early on in the programme and so make timely corrective interventions. Tutors can also reflect on the results of formative assessment to measure how effective the planned teaching and learning is at delivering the syllabus. Each student should receive one set of written formative feedback, otherwise some students may feel that others are being given more than their share of verbal feedback

(b) Stage 2: Summative assessment: This is the final assessment decision on an assignment task in relation to the assessment criteria for each unit. It is the definitive assessment and recording of the student’s achievement.

Summative assessment is where students are provided with the assignment grades contributing towards the overall unit grade. For summative assessment to be effective it should also give students additional formative feedback to support ongoing development and improvement in subsequent assignments. All formative assessment feeds directly into the summative assessment for each unit and lays the foundations from which students develop the necessary knowledge and skills required for the summative assessment.


Effective assessment feedback is part of continuous guided learning which promotes learning and enables improvement. It also allows students to reflect on their performance and helps them understand how to make effective use of feedback. Constructive and useful feedback should enable students to understand the strengths and limitations of their performance, providing positive comments where possible as well as explicit comments on how improvements can be made.

Feedback should reflect the learning outcomes and marking criteria to also help students understand how these inform the process of judging the overall grade. The timing of the provision of feedback and of the returned assessed work also contributes to making feedback effective. Specific turnaround time for feedback should be agreed and communicated with both tutors and students. Timing should allow students the opportunity to reflect on the feedback and consider how to make use of it in forthcoming assessments, considering the tutor’s workload and ability to provide effective feedback.

This assignment consists of two parts.


Addressing the chosen theme as specified by Pearson-

Pearson set FOUR topics, for which GBS has chosen the one below. You are now advised to address the theme:

“Approaches to person-centred care that embraces diverse, equitable and inclusive strategies”.

Note: Please ensure to enclose the Research Proposal form agreed and signed by you and your tutor and the ethics approval form along with your research proposal.


Addressing the chosen theme as specified by Pearson-

“Approaches to person-centred care that embraces diverse, equitable and inclusive strategies”.

The topic and type of project chosen must be appropriate for small-scale personal research, which will include gathering evidence from service users, the wider community, colleagues, and other practitioners.

The project must balance the duration of time committed to delivering input to support student`s research, and the time necessary to conduct the project.

Submission is in the form of an academic report. This should be written in a concise, formal business style using 1.5 spacing and font size 12. You are required to make use of headings, paragraphs, and subsections as appropriate, and all work must be supported with research and referenced using the Harvard referencing system

A references list and bibliography should be provided using the Harvard referencing system.

The recommended length is 1000 words for Research Proposal and 3500 words towards Research Project.

You must ensure you support the written report with a range of graphical illustrations and appropriate appendices.

Ensure to attached the GBS Student declaration form to your work

Work placed in a boarder will not be marke

Recommended Resources:


Textbooks BELL, J. and WATERS, S. (2014) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time researchers. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

CROOKES, P.A., Davies, S. and Chiarelli, M. (2004) Research into Practice: Essential Skills for Reading and Applying Research in Nursing and Healthcare. (2nd Ed.) Edinburgh: Baillière Tindall.

NEWELL, R. and BURNARD, P. (2010) Research for Evidence-based Practice in Healthcare (Vital Notes). (2nd Ed.) London: Wiley-Blackwell

THOMAS, G. (2013) How to Do your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences. (2nd Ed.) London: SAGE Publications.

TRAYNOR, T. (2017) Critical Resilience for Nurses: An Evidence-based Guide to Survival and Change in the Modern NHS. Oxford: Routledge.


www.bma.org.uk British Medical Association (BMA) Code of Ethics (General reference) www.bps.org.uk British Psychological Society (BPS) Code of Human Research Ethics (eBook)

www.gov.uk Gov.UK Public Health England, doing, supporting and using public health research (Report)

www.health.org.uk The Health Foundation Research and policy analysis (General reference)


This unit links with a number of units in the qualification, depending on the topic researched.









P6, M3, D2

In addition to the explicit links above, this unit can link to all other Practice Themes in the qualification, depending on the topic researched

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