Evidence & Evaluation
Our whole system work which brings citizens and services together in new and productive relationships has a strong evidence base. (Go to link below)
Altogether Better's recent in-depth evaluation, further supported by evidence from the UK Government’s Foresight Project and the New Economics Foundation, shows that 216 ‘types’ of Practice Health Champion-led activities delivered in 30 GP practices brought about improvements in patients’ wellbeing, resilience and ability to adapt, cope and live well with long term conditions as well as gaining a better understanding of how to use services.
The evidence tells us that when it works for patients we see significant improvements in mental health and wellbeing and overwhelming support from practice staff to sustain the work:
- 94% of patients surveyed had improved mental health and wellbeing
- 95% of staff surveyed recommend and want to continue after the funded period has ended
If early findings from the evaluation were to be replicated across the country we would see a future where:
- The resilience of general practice is transformed so that it can cope with the reducing number of GPs in the system, in particular the reduction in the number of single handed GPs, the increasing numbers of GPs retiring or leaving the system, and the decreasing numbers of GP trainees;
- Prevention becomes the norm - an integrated part of the system, reducing the future prevalence and incidence of socially determined disease by creating the conditions where people are supported to prevent, manage and live well with long term conditions and improve their mental, social and physical health and wellbeing;
- Citizens work together with the practice using a collective bottom up approach to deliver wellbeing in a community. (This is not a top down individual approach). Citizens are no longer seen as ‘users or choosers’ of services but as people who work as part of the system as ‘makers’ and ‘shapers’ of innovative new services which enable patients to adapt and self-manage in the face of social and emotional challenges, and;
- Patients use services differently and the pattern of service use changes.
To get to Altogether Better’s evaluation report ‘Working Together to Create Healthier People and Communities: Bringing citizens and services together in new conversations’, click here.
The evaluation tools and resources we have produced so far include:
1. Community Health Champions (summary version)
2. Empowerment in Health & Wellbeing (summary version)
3. Mental Health and Employment (summary version)
- Two independently conducted thematic evaluation reports and summaries on the themes of Community Health Champions and Empowerment and Mental Health and Employment (by the centre for Health Promotion at Leeds Metropolitan University).
- An evidence review on older volunteers in health and well-being, produced by Leeds Metropolitan University, which captures the impact that community health champion work, and that of those in similar roles, has for older people. This includes older people who become community health champions and older people in communities who are supported by community health champions. The findings suggest that older people engaging in lay public health roles are well placed to improve individual and community health and reduce health inequalities
- A collection of Amazing Stories from our Community Workplace Health Champions highlighting their individual journeys. These can be accessed here.
- A summary of the findings of a qualitative analysis showing how Community Health Champions influence social capital in communities. An overview of the themes identified has also been produced by Sarah Frost, Altogether Better Learning Network Development Manager. Sarah's blog on social capital and well-being contains further information.
- A Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis of a series of case studies of Altogether Better project beneficiaries has been conducted by YHEC (York Health Economics Consortium). SROI is a process that helps measure the social, environmental and economic value created by organisations and the SROI case studies help us to illustrate a measure of social impact created by our projects. The analysis found that all Altogether Better projects demonstrated a positive social return on investment (SROI) of between £0.79 - £112.42 for every pound invested. Whilst this review of case studies was high level and there was a great deal of variability in the data available for each case study, the figures provide a useful indication of the potential levels of return for the Community Health Champion approach for funders. A summary of the findings from this work is available here.