Why aren’t we seeing more peer workers in Scotland?

23rd June 2015

A new paper co-written by SRN’s Simon Bradstreet and Jacki Gordon describes how we can increase and strengthen the development of peer worker roles in Scotland.

exp_by_expPublished in the June 2015 edition of the World Journal of Psychiatry, the article describes how, despite a long-term policy commitment to recovery approaches, the creation of peer worker roles in Scotland has been patchy and slow.

This authors describe findings from a recent study commissioned by SRN on the levers and barriers to the development of peer worker roles in two Scottish health board areas.

Findings from this research suggest that priority should be given to developing new evidence on the effective implementation and cost effectiveness of peer worker roles, which could support potentially complex role development in times of reduced resources.

Gordon and Bradstreet argue that although additional evidence on effectiveness is unlikely, by itself, to lead to country-wide employment of peer workers, a policy commitment to peer working would be reinforced by a strengthened evidence base accompanied by strengthened accountability mechanisms. They reason that, in the absence of such accountability, decision-makers and planners might continue to ask “why bother”?

Download the paper by Jacki Gordon and Simon Bradstreet.