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Following the launch of Ag Éisteacht’s ABLE relational-based training programme last year, the Cork charity has stated its plans to have designed and tested the Workplace Relationship Scale by early 2019 so that it will be ready for launch this time next year.

The charity gathered a panel of health and social care professionals to support research into how interpersonal relationships in the workplace can be measured. Ag Éisteacht’s ‘Relationships Matter Working Group’, including representatives from the social care, health and charitable sectors in Cork, all of whom have volunteered to take part in the research, came together at a breakfast briefing in Cork this month.

Dr Sinéad Hanafin, managing director of Research Matters who facilitated the event and will drive the ongoing research, said: “We want people to share their own experiences of their working environments to aid our understanding of the important elements of workplace relationships within this sector.

“Our briefing session was very well-attended, with representatives from the public health, fostering, disability and social care sectors. Those participating in this process will now be asked to complete anonymous on-line surveys over the course of the next three months.

“Using the Delphi research technique, our goal is to design a scientifically robust measurement tool which would provide an objective assessment of the quality of work-based relationships”.

Dr Maeve Hurley, CEO and founder of Ag Éisteacht, said: “At Ag Éisteacht our objective is always about how we can support practitioners’ and team members’ relationships with each other to protect their wellbeing and, ultimately, the wellbeing of users of those services. It is vital that person-to-person relationships are acknowledged and valued in every interaction as a fundamental aspect of health and wellbeing.

“When the working culture and interpersonal relationships are good, there is no doubt that this can have a therapeutic effect on all members of a team, as well as those turning to those services for help”.