Appreciative inquiry in North Lincolnshire

Learn about how we helped North Lincolnshire to embed evidence-informed approaches in the design, delivery and evaluation of services.

North Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) commissioned us to work with them on a journey towards a culture of celebrating success and appreciative inquiry.

The SAB aims to ensure effective coordination of services to safeguard and promote the welfare of local adults who may be at risk of abuse and harm. The SAB wanted to move towards an organisational culture of recognising and celebrating success, by means of ‘appreciative inquiry’.

Appreciative inquiry is a strengths-based method which enables you to analyse situations, make decisions and formulate action plans for change. We used the 4D model, which works through four stages:

  • Discovery – appreciating the best of what is.
  • Dreaming – imagining how good it could be.
  • Designing – determining ‘what should be’.
  • Delivering – creating ‘what will be’.
Appreciative Inquiry

The discovery phase involved partner agencies putting forward case study examples of where things have gone well in safeguarding practice and in wider health and social care, in which 16 case studies were gathered from a range of board partners, including from service users and carers, practitioners, providers and statutory services. From these case studies we began to build learning from positive practice examples.

The case studies highlighted key elements of good safeguarding, including:

  • The importance of good planning.
  • Careful pacing and relationship building.
  • Keeping the person at the centre.
  • Joint working and commitment by all agencies to working together.
  • Listening to individual stories to find out what people value from support.
  • The value of providing time for learning and sharing good practice
  • Learning from success.
  • Good communication and sharing information.
  • Working positively together.

Things that are important to people who use services included:

  • Being part of a community and maintaining a social network.
  • Giving back to others and feeling useful.
  • Control over daily life.
  • The value of the workforce.
  • Having accessible information.

At the SAB conference, we facilitated workshops that explored the themes from case studies– thinking about how good safeguarding practice could be further developed. This was the dreaming and designing phase, delegates thought about what the best could be, and how that might be achieved.

Following the conference a report was produced for the SAB, and the SAB are now in the delivery phase embedding an appreciative inquiry approach across the local system.

North Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board Conference 2018