Two new pocket guides to help with evaluation and spread

27 March 2015

  • Two new practical guides aim to support frontline staff with quality improvement work.
  • Guides give an introduction to evaluation approaches and techniques and using communication to spread health care improvement.

Our series of quick guides provides easily digestible introductions to topics, with plenty of information about where to go to find out more. This month we’re launching two new guides on evaluation and spread, designed to help frontline staff conduct robust evaluation and use communications to spread their successful improvement work. This adds to our existing quick guides on measurement, person-centred care and quality improvement, which have proved hugely popular.


‘Evaluation captures insights that might otherwise be lost over time and generates new knowledge, so others interested in improving quality of care can benefit from lessons learned.’

Evaluation is an essential part of quality improvement. When done well, it can help solve problems, inform decision making and build knowledge.

People involved in quality improvement often ask us about how to approach evaluation. Inspired by the most commonly asked questions, this guide is intended to assist those new to evaluation by suggesting methodological and practical considerations, and providing resources to support further learning.

The guide covers the main types and approaches to evaluation and explains what you need to bear in mind when designing one. It also covers a wealth of other important issues, from adapting evaluation plans to cope with change during a project, to communicating the results of your evaluation successfully.

Read the quick guide: Evaluation – what to consider


‘You should not underestimate the power of good communications in improvement work: it will help you create interest and energy; it can get everyone talking and asking questions. When people start asking you how they can help, you know your communications are working.’

Spreading successful ideas and changes across the NHS is an essential part of improving health care quality and efficiency. Yet all too often a change that is shown to work well in one part of an organisation or system, is not adopted by others who could benefit from it. That’s why helping people build the skills needed to champion and spread good ideas for improving health care is so important.

We have been running improvement programmes for many years. This guide draws on experience from our grant-holders, and a scan of empirical evidence. When spreading their improvement ideas, good communications and high levels of interaction have been recurring themes in their success stories.

If you want to understand how communications can help make your health care improvement work a success, this guide is for you. It examines the evidence about the role communications can play in health care improvement, and then suggests practical actions you can take to effectively communicate and spread your improvement ideas. Topics include: planning your communications, engaging the right people, sustaining interest, and celebrating and sharing achievements.

Read the quick guide: Using communications to spread improvement

Find out more

Explore the full range of OnlyWan quick guides:

Further reading

Quick guide

Using communications approaches to spread improvement

The guide is for those actively engaged in health care improvement work and introduces key concepts about spreading ideas, an...

Quick guide

Evaluation: what to consider

This guide is intended to assist those new to evaluation by suggesting methodological and practical considerations and provid...

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