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Research Evidence

Improving regional & national decision-making through research, evaluation & evidence

Research, evaluation and evidence are vital to delivering sustainable healthcare improvements and better outcomes for the population we serve. Based in Newcastle, our Research & Evidence Team work with and on behalf of North East and North Cumbria CCGs to meet the statutory duty to promote research, and support the use of evidence in decision-making. We also work to deliver independent evaluation services for local, regional and national stakeholders.

More about our key services:

Research and evaluation development

We have a breadth and depth of research and evaluation experience and are well placed to support development of new evidence. We work with a wide range of commissioners, healthcare professionals and academics, and have links with regional and national research and evaluation networks. We also work in partnership with North East & North Cumbria CCGs to host and manage Research Capability Funding – annual grant funding allocated to developing research.

We offer support services to:
  • Advise stakeholders on strategic research and innovation development
  • Support CCGs to develop and implement research and innovation strategies in line with statutory duties
  • Refine the focus of research and evaluation questions
  • Provide guidance and tools to help with research & evaluation feasibility assessment & planning
  • Advise on appropriate methods of gathering evidence
  • Develop research and evaluation proposals and funding applications
  • Identify and develop research and evaluation partnerships and collaborations


  • Research governance

    We provide robust research governance services on behalf of North East & North Cumbria CCGs. In practice, this means ensuring that research carried out in CCG, primary care and other community settings is planned and delivered following relevant guidelines and with appropriate permissions in place. Our service provides assurance that the safety and confidentiality of participants will be protected and research activities will not impact on effective service delivery.

    Our governance services involve:
    • Assessing whether a project is defined as research or evaluation
    • Providing information about what responsibilities and standards apply to each project
    • Ensuring these responsibilities and standards are met before research commences
    • Assessing capability and capacity as required for those projects not included in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Portfolio
    • Processing Research Passports as required
    • Providing assurance and Letters of Access as required

    Training & skills development

    We deliver regular training courses to North East & North Cumbria CCG, NECS and primary care staff. Standard training sessions focus on developing skills to find, appraise and apply research evidence in the commissioning cycle, and how to design an evaluation. We can design and deliver bespoke training sessions specific to organisational and team needs.

    Our training sessions cover:
    • The role of evidence in the commissioning cycle and clinical services
    • Different types of research & evidence, their strengths and weaknesses
    • How to access research papers using a search strategy
    • How to critically appraise evidence
    • How to design and complete an evaluation
    We also help commissioners and healthcare professionals to develop research and evaluation skills through support to access development opportunities, funding and mentorship.

    Knowledge exchange

    We work with CCG staff, healthcare professionals and academics to share knowledge and support the use of evidence in decision-making. We disseminate information about research and evaluation projects taking place nationally and in the North East & North Cumbria. We also host regular events designed to share learning and develop research and evaluation networks.

    Our knowledge exchange activities involve:
    • Regular comprehensive reports to update North East & North Cumbria CCGs on research and evaluation progressing in the area (in line with statutory responsibilities)
    • Signposting and summarising new evidence from relevant research and evaluation projects via regular bulletins and our @NECSREteam Twitter
    • Presenting and being present at regional and national research and evaluation conferences
    • Linking with regional and national research networks to share learning, identify and realise key research priorities
    • Nurturing partnerships between librarians, academics, CCGs and clinicians to promote learning and sharing of best evidence
    • Hosting regular events to promote knowledge exchange and support colleagues to build research and evaluation networks

    Evaluation service

    We work to plan and deliver qualitative and quantitative evaluation of policies, processes, initiatives, services and interventions to the high standards required by our customers. We are commissioned to deliver programmes of work on a national, regional and local level, often working in close partnership with academics, NECS, NHS England/Improvement, CCG and clinical colleagues.

    Our evaluation activities include:
    • Scoping projects and reviewing academic, policy and grey literature
    • Conceptualising complex systems and pathways
    • Bespoke research and evaluation project planning and delivery
    • Design of bespoke data collection tools, and use of validated measures where available
    • Quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis and interpretation
    • Dissemination of evaluation results and recommendations

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