NHS Charities: Evaluation guidance

There are approximately 250 NHS Charities across England which provide £321m of additional funding to the NHS each year and manage over £2bn of assets. The Maddox Group is a group of CEOs of NHS Charities looking to build a shared vision, evidence base and understanding of the role that NHS Charities play in the health system.

Maddox Group members Chelsea + Westminster Health Charity (CW+), Imperial College Healthcare Charity and the Royal Free Charity commissioned NPC to help them understand how to measure their impact and how to develop a shared approach to doing so. By taking a shared measurement approach the partners aim to avoid unnecessary cost and duplication, support improvement within the sector and help NHS Charities to articulate their collective impact more clearly.

This report provides high-level evaluation guidance for NHS Charities and builds on two previous stages: a review of current evaluation practice and a theory of change for NHS Charities. This guidance is based around NPC’s four pillar approach to impact measurement and also draws on our experience from other client projects and our work on shared measurement as part of the Inspiring Impact programme.

Owing to the variety among NHS Charities, this guidance will not apply perfectly to all. But at the end of each section we provide measurement advice both for the NHS Charity sector as a whole, and for individual NHS Charities seeking to develop their own measurement practice.

The project found a clear and shared understanding of the purpose of NHS Charities, and agreement that NHS Charities are working to achieve improvements in both clinical and non-clinical outcomes. Recognising this shared vision is in itself a valuable step forward, and it provides a foundation on which the NHS Charities sector can build more concrete plans for measuring key outcomes in a more consistent way.

  • This guidance was launched at the Association of NHS Charities AGM on 18 May 2016.