Evaluating the impact of a joint social care and NHS initiative: The Health Precinct Study

Organisation/institution: Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) at Bangor University, Conwy County Borough Council, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), Public Health Wales and the Welsh Rugby Union.

Key contact: Dr Carys Jones, CHEME, Bangor University, c.l.jones@bangor.ac.uk

What was the question that we could help with?

The Health Precinct uses Independent Care Funds from Conwy Council to promote independence for people with chronic conditions and focuses on tackling inequalities and improving outcomes for the poorest by removing barriers to exercise, and promoting co-production and self-management of conditions.

What did we do?

Funded by the Health and Care Research Wales Social Care stream, we evaluated the impact of the Health Precinct on the well-being and social participation of its participants, and explored the factors that lead to successful implementation of, and engagement with, the Health Precinct. Dr Carys Jones oversaw the exploration of Health Precinct data on patterns of attendance, evaluated the factors associated with successful implementation and client engagement and led a social return on investment analysis exploring the social value generated by the Health Precinct.

What was the impact?

If social participation and community-based assets are improved, existing initiatives need to be evaluated to understand what works and for whom, and to confirm the value generated by these initiatives. Our findings suggest that the social return on investment ratio of benefits to costs was £5.07 of social value generated for every £1 invested in the Health Precinct. Over half of the clients lowered their Body Mass Index, a third improved their blood pressure and quality of life improved after 16 weeks.

The study findings were shared with a wide range of audiences, enhancing existing links with key stakeholders and generating interest in new collaborations.

Collaborating closely with key Health Precinct stakeholders throughout the study ensured that the research was relevant for both service users and those who organise and deliver the Health Precinct. This collaboration helped to close the gap between research production and research use, and accelerate the pathway to impact” Dr Carys Jones.