What is a service evaluation?
A service evaluation is a way of measuring current practice and can be used to determine what standard the service achieves. It may be specific and focused on one area of the service (e.g. “How long are waiting lists for service A?”) or it could look at all aspects of a service providing a complete and rounded view.
Service Evaluation within the Trust does not require ethical approval but does require the Research and Innovation Department’s approval.
Why complete a service evaluation?
There may be many factors involved that lead you to believe that conducting a particular service evaluation is a priority, these may include:
- The need to evaluate a new service or a change in service
- The need to understand whether an innovation works
- Requests from commissioners
- Service user or carer requests for improvement
- Staff raising concerns
- Productivity concerns
- Feeling that the service is achieving best practice
Next steps and support
Your service evaluation should be ethical and adhere to BSMHFT’s governance standards. When conducting an evaluation you will need to send a proposal to the Research and Innovation Department, who will provide feedback and sign-off your proposal. We will confirm that the activity you are undertaking is service evaluation rather than audit or research. The Research and Innovation Department can also arrange letters of access for students and researchers without Trust contracts if necessary.
The research and Innovation department has prepared templates for Service Evaluation Proposals and Service Evaluation Final Reports. Further detailed information can be found in the Service Evaluation Approval Guidance or by contacting the Research and Innovation department as well as in the NHS evaluation toolkit.