Sep 28, 2021
Boards in health and care organisations play a key role in the governance, strategy, direction and culture of an organisation. It is therefore important to ensure that board decisions are informed by the best available evidence. We conducted a scoping study on how boards use research evidence and how this can be improved. The principal data collection method was 17 qualitative interviews with board members.
Boards in health and care organisations in England play a key role in the governance, strategy, direction and culture of an organisation. It is therefore important to ensure that board decisions are informed by the best available evidence from a range of sources, including service evaluations, organisational performance data, research and evidence-based guidelines.
However, there is a scarcity of evidence about how boards use research evidence, defined as evidence stemming from generalisable empirical research, to carry out their roles.
THIS Institute commissioned RAND Europe and the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) at the University of Birmingham to conduct a scoping study on how health and care boards use research evidence. The focus was on NHS Trust boards and the boards of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) or Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). The principal data collection method was qualitative interviews with diverse members of health and care boards to obtain insights into the perceptions and experiences of board members in a range of roles and circumstances. The findings are predominantly based on evidence from 17 interviews.
Given the importance of the COVID-19 pandemic at the time of this research, we were also asked to consider whether and how research evidence was used by boards in shaping their response to COVID-19. We focused on two areas specifically: (i) personal protective equipment (PPE) and (ii) the use of remote consultations and remote patient monitoring.