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The Fife Regeneration, Health and Wellbeing Study

Finding out more about the health and wellbeing of the people of Fife

Questions and Answers about the study

Here you can find some common questions and answers about the study in the links below.

This study is all about finding out more about the health and wellbeing of the people of Fife. The study is especially interested in finding out how all the work on regenerating Fife is doing when it comes to improving the health and wellbeing of people.

Regeneration is about improving things in the community. When we talk about regeneration we mean improving your housing or local environment, making changes in work or learning opportunities or helping people get on and help and support each other. Regeneration is about improving people’s quality of life. It has been decided that some targeted parts of Fife will be getting a lot of help and resources to help regeneration in the coming years.

People used to say that being healthy was just the opposite of being ill. But nowadays we think about our health as more than that – yes, it is still about how well our body is, but health is also about our emotions and happiness, how we feel about our relationships, about our environment, how much we feel in control of what happens to us and how happy we are with everyday life.

Local workers work in partnership with local people in this study. When we talk about ‘local workers’ they are people who work in the communities of Fife where most work will be done on regeneration. When we talk about ‘local people’ we mean people who live in the communities where most work will be done on regeneration.

Local people and workers get together 8 times in the course of a year, for about an hour. Before they meet the study team sends the worker a pack in the post that has an activity that each pair will do together. Every conversation is about capturing the opinions of the local person; there are no right and wrong answers. In each session there will be a way of recording what people want to tell us.

The responses from each participating pair are then returned to the study team. The study team read and compile the information and then send out a report that sums up everything that people have told us. Sometimes people will agree, and sometimes people will have very different opinions. Local workers and local people get their report in the form of a visual poster.

In the 2006 pilot phase 20 local workers and 20 local people volunteered to get involved for 12 months. In 2007 some of our pilot group participants decided to stay involved, and they are joined by more people with connections to the target regeneration areas across Fife. 2007 has 33 workers and 34 local people involved.

Information that is returned to us is stored securely. We understand that participants do not want private things reported publicly, whatever is in our reporting back will not be about individuals; it will be more about what general issues come up. We will not use anyone’s name in what we write. We will not use any information in any report we write that means individuals can be identified. We are committed to respecting participant’s privacy.

If a person decides not to take part, that is okay. Their decision not to take part will not affect any services they get.

Fife Council is the sponsor of this study on behalf of NHS Fife and the different organisations involved in regeneration in Fife. Dr Gordon McLaren, Consultant in Public Health with NHS Fife is the direct link to the study team on behalf of the steering group for the study. 

The study is being managed day to day by Colin Morrison at the TASC agency. TASC is an independent company that does research which often involves local people and local practitioners in talking about their communities and the services they get. Colin reports regularly to people in the Council and NHS to make sure they are learning from what participants have to say. Colin will be in regular contact with participants at different points of the tracking study pilot project. Colin can be contacted directly if participants have any questions or want to chat about being involved.

The protocol for this study has been approved by the steering group for the study, led by Fife Council.  It has also received approval from Fife and Forth Valley Local Research Ethics Committee. All participants are required to receive and go through information about the study and to sign a consent form.

This study is about hearing from local people in Fife about their lives, especially about aspects of their lives to do with their health and wellbeing. By telling their stories, sharing opinions, the intention is that they can help make sure that whenever important decisions are being made which have the potential to impact on health and wellbeing those decisions are as good as they can be because decision makers have considered what the detail of people’s lives are like.

Projects like this don’t make a big immediate impact; they are more like a slow steady stream of information that helps influence the way big agencies do things. So when it comes to making a difference, it’s a slow process, but an important one nonetheless.

It is also the hope of the study team that getting involved will be something that both local people and workers enjoy doing; that maybe being involved will help participants see things a bit differently. Maybe getting involved will help them think about how important their views and experiences are. It might seem obvious but local people are the experts in their own life, and it’s their day-to-day life and views on health and wellbeing and regeneration that we are interested in hearing about.

The only time the worker who is part of the study would tell their line manager about anything a local person has discussed would be if they thought a child or a vulnerable adult was at risk or in danger, then they would want to help make sure the person was being protected from harm. This is the normal way that any employee of Fife Council, NHS Fife or a voluntary sector agency would do things.

Participants can contact Colin directly at any time in the study; this includes if they are unhappy or want to complain about something to do with the study.

Colin Morrison
Telephone (office hours): 0131 555 3527

If someone remains unhappy and wishes to complain formally, they can do this through:

Dr Gordon McLaren
Consultant in Public Health Medicine
NHS Fife Public Health Department,
Cameron House,
Leven, Fife, KY8 5RG
Tel: 01592 226414