This article critically reflects on the methodological approach used in a multi-method study of healthcare provision for probation service clients in England. The study involved gathering data from a range of large criminal justice and health organisations. Drawing on the literature and using learning from this study as an example, we address two central questions which evolved during the research: why was it more difficult to gain access in some organisations than others, and what methodological strategies might best improve engagement with research in the future? We discuss gatekeeping, and the impact of organisational resources, culture, responsibilities, change and objectives on engagement with research. We make recommendations for future methodological approaches to address these challenges, which are relevant to researchers in any discipline trying to engage organisations in research.
University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research
Coral Sirdifield, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care
David Denney, University of London, Royal Holloway, School of Law
Rebecca Marples, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care
Charlie Brooker, University of London, Royal Holloway, School of Law