Using evidence in identifying and assessing new ideas is important. In order to commission something we need to know enough about how it works on a range of levels, including socio-cultural, technical and with regards to outcomes and effectiveness.

In addition, ensuring that citizens’ voices are heard in the design of health and care services is mandated in the NHS Constitution and is a key consideration when reviewing evidence for a new way of working.

However, it is not always easy to know where to begin, and how to go about finding and using evidence.

The resources on this page can help you with:

  1. Identifying and assessing evidence

  2. Developing and evidence based business case

  3. Ensuring the voice of citizens is considered in new ways of working


Identifying and assessing evidence

The following resources provide guides and tools to identifying and assessing evidence:

The Innovation Agency and NHS England produced a practical guide to support commissioners in interpreting and implementing research and evidence for commissioning. Click here to view the infographic.

PubMed library of biomedical literature from MEDLINE, citations and links to full text articles.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Evidence search.

NICE Technology appraisal guidance.

NICE – overview, principles and methods of health technology assessment.

NIHR CLAHRC North West Coast lead a collaborative, leadership enhancing programme of activities that contribute to the use of evidence synthesis by CLAHRC NWC Partners.

NIHR CLAHRC Health Inequalities Assessment Toolkit.

NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands, developed a knowledge translation and getting research into practice tools.

Clinical Senates – a source of independent clinical advice for commissioners.

Strategic Clinical Networks – a source of clinical expertise

Developing an evidence based business case

The following resources are useful tools and guides for building an evidence-based business case: 

The Green Book, government advice on how to appraise proposals before committing funds to a policy, programme or project.

Evidence based appraisals of moving care closer to home.

Evidence base on the return to public investment in science and innovation.

Ensuring the voice of citizens is considered in new ways of working

The NHS constitution states that the patient will be at the heart of everything this NHS does. The following tools and guides will support you ensuring that patients and citizens are partners in the design of new services and ways of working:

National Voices – a coalition of health and social care charities in England.

Institute of patient centred design

Patient Centred Culture by Design

Experience based design - using patient and staff experience to design better health and care services.

NHS Citizen is a national programme to give the public a say on healthcare matters and influence NHS England decision making.

NHS Public Voice is about ensuring that the views of patients, carers and the public are heard and are able to influence NHS England’s decision-making and sits under NHS Citizen.

The Patient Voices programme was in 2003, and aims to facilitate the telling and the hearing of some of the unwritten and unspoken stories of ordinary people for those who devise and implement strategy in health and social care.

INVOLVE was established in 1996 and is part of, and funded by, the National Institute for Health Research, to support active public involvement in NHS.


Patient involvement in research.

The UKCRC is promoting active patient and public involvement (PPI) as part of developing a new environment for clinical research through several activities.

Each local Healthwatch is part of its local community and works in partnership with other local organisations. The Healthwatch network is made of up of local Healthwatch across each of the 152 local authority areas and Healthwatch England, the national body. http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/ 


Involvement of patients in NICE guidance.

An independent site about your experiences of UK health services, good or bad. We pass your stories to the right people to make a difference.


If you are interested in reading more about these topics, the library services at Lancashire Care have pulled together comprehensive literature reviews and online resources which you can find below:

Literature review 1

Literature review 2

Online resources for evaluation


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