Practical guidance on undertaking a service evaluation
Evidence & Practice    

Practical guidance on undertaking a service evaluation

Pam Moule Professor of health services research (service evaluation), Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of West of England.
Julie Armoogum Senior lecturer, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of West of England.
Emily Dodd Clinical trials co-ordinator, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of West of England.
Anne-Laure Donskoy Research partner and survivor researcher, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of West of England.
Emma Douglass Senior lecturer, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of West of England.
Julie Taylor Senior lecturer, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of West of England.
Pat Turton Senior lecturer, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of West of England.

This article describes the basic principles of evaluation, focusing on the evaluation of healthcare services. It emphasises the importance of evaluation in the current healthcare environment and the requirement for nurses to understand the essential principles of evaluation. Evaluation is defined in contrast to audit and research, and the main theoretical approaches to evaluation are outlined, providing insights into the different types of evaluation that may be undertaken. The essential features of preparing for an evaluation are considered, and guidance provided on working ethically in the NHS. It is important to involve patients and the public in evaluation activity, offering essential guidance and principles of best practice. The authors discuss the main challenges of undertaking evaluations and offer recommendations to address these, drawing on their experience as evaluators.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10277

Correspondence

pam.moule@uwe.ac.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 14 September 2015

Accepted: 17 December 2015

Published online: 29 June 2016