Changexchange – Evaluating the Impact of Support from the Start

Changexchange is a collaborative research project consisting of practitioners from NHS Lothian and East Lothian Council working alongside academics from Queen Margaret University. Those involved are John Boyce, NHS Lothian, Ann Hume, East Lothian Council, Prof Kirsty Forsyth and Donald Maciver, both Queen Margaret University.

The overall aim of Changexchange is to understand how communities deliver sustainable change to reduce health inequalities in early years.

Many initiatives have developed under the auspices of Support from the Start, each with a focus on addressing the health and well-being of some of our youngest children and their families. The main aim has been to facilitate and enable mainstream services to deliver support in a different way and share the learning from this.

The key to ensuring long term change in service delivery is to establish what has made a difference both to practitioners and to those who are in receipt of the service.

The Changexchange project will seek to evaluate the impact of these initiatives by identifying changes which have taken place both within families, practice and service delivery. Information will be gathered by a variety of research methods including questionnaires, focus groups and individual interviews.

The output from this research will highlight changes which have taken place within families, staff, communities and organisations, detailing examples of good practice where appropriate, and will be used to inform future service delivery.

The methodolgy used to gather this qualitative data will involve questionnaires issued to all our champions, individual interviews with a selection of champions, and focus groups involving participants in some of the change initiatives.

The first stage in this process has involved gathering information on “Good News Stories” which are initiatives that are already having an impact. These are attached below in one document.

We are about to launch into our data gathering phase so will be kept very busy over the coming 3 months.

Change X Change

 Change X Change is a new partnership which has been developed between East Lothian’s community planning partners and the Scottish Government to evaluate  the  Equally Well test site in East Lothian – Support from the Start.

This new partnership sees the creation of a small team at Queen Margaret University that is designed to bring the world of academic research together with the world of service delivery. Two members of staff have been seconded for three days per week for one year to work with academics and researchers at the university as part of a ‘firefly team’. See the link below to find out about ‘fireflys’

This approach to the evaluation of  Support from the Start will have the advantage of leaving a legacy beyond the report(s) that are produced at the end of the year. New networks and links wll be made, between the university and services which will be brought back to services along with the new skills of the two staff involved. The products at the end of the evaluation should also be better aligned to service need for the involvement of staff who have played a key role in the development of the test site and are aware of the issues confronting services in tackling health inequality

Support From the Start – evaluation proposal