Purpose – This paper aims to examine the barriers and enablers to working together in social care, focusing on the experiences of carers and practitioners.
Design/methodology/approach – The project employed a change project method which brings research and practice together to identify a problem, seek ways to resolve it, and develop resources to implement the learning in practice.
Findings – The main findings substantiate much of the existing evidence in this area: the way people are treated by practitioners and services is as important as the outcomes they seek; there is a need to improve understanding and recognition of carer expertise; and there is a tension, for practitioners, between working within resource‐bound systems and implementing a needs‐led and person‐centred cultural service. It demonstrates that when shared learning is focused on action, i.e. learning through doing, relationship‐building becomes an intrinsic part of the process.
Research limitations/implications – The project involved a limited number of participants, and this article shares interim findings only.
Originality/value – The project has used an action‐research approach.