The challenges of evaluating large-scale, multi-partner programmes: the case of NIHR CLAHRCs

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Graham P. Martin Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, UK

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Vicky Ward Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, UK

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Jane Hendy Department of Health Care Management and Policy, University of Surrey, UK

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Emma Rowley CLAHRC NDL and Business School, University of Nottingham, UK

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Susan Nancarrow Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia

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Janet Heaton Institute for Health Services Research, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, UK

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Nicky Britten Institute for Health Services Research, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, UK

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Sandra Fielden Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK

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Steven Ariss School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, UK

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The limited extent to which research evidence is utilised in healthcare and other public services is widely acknowledged. The United Kingdom government has attempted to address this gap by funding nine Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs). CLAHRCs aim to carry out health research, implement research findings in local healthcare organisations and build capacity across organisations for generating and using evidence. This wide-ranging brief requires multifaceted approaches; assessing CLAHRCs’ success thus poses challenges for evaluation. This paper discusses these challenges in relation to seven CLAHRC evaluations, eliciting implications and suggestions for others evaluating similarly complex interventions with diverse objectives.

Graham P. Martin Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research (SAPPHIRE) Group, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, UK

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Vicky Ward Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, UK

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Jane Hendy Department of Health Care Management and Policy, University of Surrey, UK

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Emma Rowley CLAHRC NDL and Business School, University of Nottingham, UK

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Susan Nancarrow Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia

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Janet Heaton Institute for Health Services Research, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, UK

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Nicky Britten Institute for Health Services Research, Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, UK

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Sandra Fielden Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK

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Steven Ariss School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, UK

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