Aug 3, 2018
Initial evaluation of the impact of the Transformation Support Unit of Eastern Academic Health Science Network. We developed a logic model, surveyed stakeholders and analysed 4 case studies of innovations supported. Signs are that the Unit is improving implementation of innovations in the National Health Service in eastern England. We recommended collection of more data to enable estimation of the return on investment.
The Eastern Academic Health Science Network (Eastern AHSN) Transformation Support Unit (TSU) started work in November 2016 with the objective 'to find and help implement innovative solutions for the critical challenges that health and care providers face'. The Eastern AHSN commissioned RAND Europe in October 2017 to undertake a rapid initial evaluation of the impact of the TSU. The assessment of impact is necessarily preliminary and our review focused on identifying early signs that could indicate future potential for impact, as much as examining existing achievements. The main elements of the study were: a workshop with TSU staff and key stakeholders; an online survey of stakeholder perceptions; case studies of four of the projects supported by the TSU to date; a review of TSU and Eastern AHSN materials and discussions with TSU staff.
Most respondents believe that the TSU has a positive impact on the outcomes of their projects, helping them to reach more people and speed up implementation of the innovation. TSU support for pilots, implementation and network building are considered to be particularly useful. There is room for improvement in terms of helping to identify scale-up opportunities and requirements, and creating an evidence base on impact to support shared learning and spread of good practice. Given its early stage, it is understandable that the TSU has not yet had much impact on NHS cost savings and the wider economy, and most respondents believe that these positive effects will come in the near future.
The intervention logic for the TSU
Survey of stakeholders' perceptions
Reflecting on progress and implications for the future