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Building evidence

You will need to show how your service will both improve patient care and save money. Back up your business case by establishing the need for your service and measuring the effectiveness.

Hero curve mask

Establishing need

Give local context

Always link your stated national priorities to your local situation. To help you, consult the following sources of information:

  • development plans available from your local authority
  • strategic documents relating to your organisation or trust
  • national audits that break down detail into locality and provide benchmarks
  • local mortality and morbidity statistics - you can get this from local and national websites
  • local standards for your service
  • public health documents; for example, local annual public health reports, local joint strategic needs assessments, local health and wellbeing strategies, guidance on managing long-term health conditions and improving the health of the population
  • local council health improvements

For specific local statistics, such as waiting times for particular services or interventions, ask your local trust’s audit department and cardiac network for guidance.

The following sources in this table will help you identify and illustrate the need for your service.

Establishing effectiveness

National context

To gain more evidence for your business case, link it to national priorities. For instance, expansion of a rehabilitation service for heart failure patients can be linked to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) guidance. Research that shows where bed days can be saved, or readmission rates reduced, will serve as good evidence to enhance the service.

You can examine research from these organisations to help you make your service as effective as possible:

NICE guidelines

The clinical guidelines on treatment and care on the NHS issued by NICE are based on the best available evidence. Check the guidelines that are relevant to your service and make sure that your proposal is in line with them.

Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention (QIPP)

For inspiration, consult the QIPP collection of case studies relevant to your service, which serve as good examples of how health and social care staff are improving quality and productivity across the NHS and social care. They have been evaluated on quality improvements, savings, evidence and implementation, and are peer-reviewed.

Public Health England

This government advisory body aims to improve overall health and tackle health inequalities across the country. It has a wealth of research, reports and data analyses on public health issues, which will be extremely useful in preparing a business case.

The King’s Fund

This independent charity, which is working to improve health and healthcare in England, carries out research and analysis. Useful information sources include the experience-based co-design toolkit for improving patient experience, guides for commissioners and reports and publications on various health-related and social care topics that can be downloaded or bought.

Next: Monitoring and evaluation

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