Why real world evaluation is an essential part of quality improvement in healthcare

14th February 2022

On Friday 18th February, we will be hosting a webinar to explore the crucial role that real world evaluation plays and how capturing and using the right evidence is key to spreading solutions in the NHS. Dr Sean Gill, Programme Manager in the Economic Growth team, takes a look ahead to the event and how evaluation can help us develop a deeper understanding of how best to improve healthcare.


The evaluation hexagon of the AHSN’s Innovation Pathway is the one that gets me most excited. I joined the AHSN NENC in January 2021 from Newcastle University’s Clinical Trials Unit, where I project managed the data for four clinical trials.

This included Phase III and IV pharmaceutical trials, device trials and surgical trials, as well as those of service organisation and delivery, and of complex interventions aimed at behaviour change amongst professionals, patients and members of the public.

Day-to-day, I managed patient information, attended monthly trial management group meetings, producing and presenting data quality and progress reports which reported on trial progress and issues. Internally, each trial team met weekly to discuss key milestones. I also worked closely with clinicians and industry partners across a diverse portfolio to understand their research and site research teams, locally and nationally.

With my background and experience, I know only too well the challenges of generating the right evidence!

When it’s captured and used in the right way, evidence plays a key role in spreading solutions in the NHS. That means evaluation, backed up with solid evidence, is an essential part of quality improvement and when it’s done well, it can help to build knowledge, solve problems and inform future decision-making.

Our webinar will cover the different types of evaluation available and give examples of support and services available to help businesses to develop their evidence.

Every organisation is committed to improving patient care and being able to show the impact of any potential solution and its applications, presents us with many exciting opportunities for the future.

The challenges facing health and care services are well documented and innovation is central to addressing them. We need to explore new ways of working based on core needs and priorities. More of the same is not an option. We must encourage innovation. However, innovation also needs evaluation. Without evaluative evidence, all we have is advocates and champions. Without evidence, we don’t know whether an innovation should be scaled up and spread. All too often innovation proceeds without the support and discipline of evaluation.

We will address all of these areas in this session. We’ll look at the need for and barriers to innovation; describing the vital role of evaluation and bringing it to life through videos and case studies, as well as offering resources and access to support.

At the AHSN NENC, we can provide access to clinicians to help with evidence generation, real world evaluation funding and signposting to partners to plan and deliver an evaluation piece.

The AHSN, Med Connect North, the Clinical Research Network and NICE External Assessment Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will be leading the Real World Evaluation webinar for industry, covering:

  • What is real world evaluation (RWE)?
  • Why is it important?
  • Evidence based principles and frameworks.
  • An overview of the support and services provided by Med Connect North, Clinical Research Network and NICE External Assessment Centre, to help businesses to develop their evidence.


It is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to increase their access into the healthcare sector and in addition to the programme, a series of workshops and seminars will be run by Health Network North –  all designed to help build a strong springboard for businesses to get into the healthcare market.