Cancer action plan 2023 to 2026

This action plan supports the cancer strategy 2023 to 2033 and outlines the realistic and achievable actions that we will deliver in the first three years.

4. Monitoring and Evaluation

Information on the key principles and approach to evaluation is provided in the 10-year Cancer Strategy for Scotland.

A Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for each 3-year action plan will be developed using the steps outlined in the Cancer Strategy for Scotland 2023-2033. Setting up a framework for each action plan will provide the flexibility to design the best evaluation methods to address evidence and learning requirements as they emerge across the timeline of the 10-year strategy.

The objectives of the 3-year action plans will represent the building blocks needed to make progress towards the longer-term strategic aim of the 10-year strategy. The first action plan is concerned with stabilising systems and services. The second action plan will seek to renew services and cancer control, and the third action plan aims to redesign services and harness innovations. Given the wider systems and financial pressures outlined in relation to evaluation of the 10-year strategy, evaluation of the first action plan will focus on the outputs and outcomes that we can expect to be delivered within three years as systems and services are stabilised.

The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for this first action plan will incorporate measures to assess progress in relation to short-term outcomes for the 10-year strategy, in other words the progress that is expected to be made in years 1-3 to recover and stabilise systems and services. In addition to evaluating outcomes, this framework will generate learning from the experience of implementing the plan: what is known as ‘process’ evaluation; as well as understanding the outcomes of activities. Data indicators and evaluation questions will be set out to monitor and evaluate the processes and outcomes linked with implementing and delivering the action plan. Where possible, in order to take a proportionate approach that minimises burden, questions will be addressed through routine data collection.

Monitoring of data, such as waiting times, will continue to be important in the measurement of metrics to assess performance and to understand variation in the system. We will apply Healthcare Improvement Scotland's concept of learning systems to understand progress and share learning. Approaching evaluation from the perspective of Learning Systems enables us to consider what variation tells us about the system, specifically what is working and not working, and to share this learning across the system. Specific approaches for supporting Learning Systems will be developed with stakeholders for each action plan.

In connecting with existing monitoring and evaluation activities that are taking place in NHS Boards, this approach will draw on transferable, scalable and well-evidenced learning that is available from the local (‘micro’) level. While national monitoring and evaluation is not directly about local improvement or local data needs, it aims to capture and share good quality evidence as learning emerges within the system.

As part of monitoring and evaluating the action plans, a set of core evaluation questions will be developed to share with local programmes and projects that wish to develop evaluation methods that support learning against key indicators of success.



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