How are we evaluating our impact?

Ways to Wellness is committed to demonstrating the impact of our work through robust monitoring and evaluation. We share our learning, so others can benefit from the work we undertake.

The SPACE pilot project will run for two years, to February 2024. Through this work we aim to understand better whether social prescribing is effective for children who are hospital in-patients, and their families. We will be measuring the impact on the families we support. We will also consider the ‘ingredients’ of effective social prescribing for children and families.

Ways to Wellness has a bespoke Management Information System (MIS) that is used in all our projects. This gives us a secure location to collect data, that meets all appropriate requirements for information governance and patient confidentiality.

In order to capture the learning, the project includes two pieces of evaluation:

1. Project evaluation

Project monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken during and after the project, to help us better understand the impact we’re having.

A key part of this is our use of the Support Star™ from Triangle, which is a validated tool for assessing the needs of children and young people facing serious illness. As well as the Support Star™ we will be using the following questionnaires to assess and monitor outcomes:

  • Quality of life (EQ-5D for adults; CHU-9D for children including proxy version)
  • Parental Stress Scale
  • Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (parents)
  • Three questions to gauge financial strain on the family

2. Exploring social prescribing for children and young people in community and hospital settings

We are also part of a project looking at social prescribing for children and young people in community and hospital settings. The project is funded by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria. It is led by Newcastle University, in partnership with Ways to Wellness and North East Wellbeing.

The aim of the research is to identify the components of effective social prescribing for children and young people, identifying lessons learned across two settings:

  • A community-based project called Zone West, which supports children aged 7-11 years.
  • The SPACE pilot, a hospital-based project supporting children and young people, and their families.

Our objectives are to:

  1. Obtain in-depth understanding of social prescribing for children and young people through a mixed methods evaluation
  2. Identify and disseminate practical recommendations for optimal social prescribing service provision
  3. Understand how policy can support wider adoption of social prescribing for children and your people.

Click here to find out how to get involved.

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