The Influence of the Operating Environment on Voluntary Collaboration Between Health, Social Care, and Housing: An Instrumental Case Study

  • Joanne Kirrane

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Cross-sector collaboration is a core function in the planning and delivery of publicly funded services in Wales, however, it remains challenging and slow to progress (Welsh Government, 2015a; Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales, 2018).

    The aim of this study was to explore and gain an understanding of how factors in the operating environment act to encourage or discourage voluntary collaboration in practice, between health, social care, and housing. Using the redevelopment of a 55+ sheltered housing scheme in South Wales, instrumental case study design was employed to examine the research problem.

    To achieve the study aim, qualitative data was collected over three sequential data collection phases (Tashakkori et al., 2020) from participants (n=47) involved in semistructured interviews (n=26), a focus group (n=1) and survey questionnaires (n=17). Data integration was achieved at design, method, and data interpretation and reporting levels (Stake, 1995; Creswell et al., 2011; Fetters et al., 2013; Yin, 2018; Tashakkori et al., 2020). External validity (Yin, 2018) was achieved by gathering feedback on research findings from sector experts outside of the case study (n=13).

    Reflexive thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2022) was used to analyse data to
    achieve the research aim. From the data analysis three overarching themes were

    Theme one - Horizontal gaps in the development of policy and vertical gaps in the translation of policy can act to limit effective voluntary collaboration.

    Theme two – The absence of a process for voluntary collaboration has implications for practice.

    Theme three - Resource-based challenges create tensions in the operating environment.

    The study found twelve key factors in the operating environment that acted to discourage effective voluntary collaboration between the sectors. However, there were also factors in the operating environment that could be used to lever change and encourage voluntary collaboration between health, social care, and housing.
    Date of Award2023
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJennifer Law (Supervisor), Carolyn Wallace (Supervisor) & Louise Hung (Supervisor)

    Cite this