Background As a hospice we are nimble in our responses to the local population, developing service innovations and initiating new projects in response to identified needs. In 2017 we recognised that we are not always consistent in evaluating the benefits and challenges of these projects. We want to ensure that service developments are evaluated for cost effectiveness and benefit to our patient population. Our evaluation expertise was based in the research team and a limited resource.
Aim To expand our capacity and expertise in conducting evaluations and to embed this in a variety of departments.
Method Having secured funding from the Health Innovation Network (HIN) we are developing a team of Hospice Evaluation Champions (HECs) drawn from clinical and non- clinical staff. Guided by an external expert, the team meet on a regular basis to work on individual projects related to their own departments/projects and to learn together about the techniques and methodology appropriate to conducting a meaningful evaluation.
Results The programme of monthly workshops, individual supervision and peer support has resulted in the following ongoing evaluation projects
Referrals to the medical team (Medical Consultant)
Discharge Buddy introduction (Volunteer Manager)
Introduction of IPOS (Quality Improvement Manager)
Enhanced Support Service (Nurse Consultant)
Introduction of HECs (Research Lead)
In conducting the evaluations the HECs have developed understanding and experience in using a range of tools including focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, diaries, and interrogation of existing data. They have also been supported in reporting and dissemination of evaluation results.
Dissemination On completion of the one year HEC project(s) the results will be disseminated through the hospice networks, through the HIN networks and through publication in journal articles. HECs will provide a cluster of expertise which will be able to support both internal and partnership projects in the future.
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