Primary care: national monitoring and evaluation strategy

Our approach to Scotland's national monitoring and evaluation of primary care reform up to 2028.

Annex 4: Examples of methods and associated sources for monitoring and evaluation

Methods and sources

For example…

Administrative and national survey data: to monitor progress against intended outcomes and describe trends over time 

  • SG Health and Care Experience Survey
  • Primary Care Workforce Survey and improved practice data on staffing as result of the GMS contract
  • Financial and management data
  • Public opinion surveys
  • Professional body data and registrations
  • Routine and administrative data from Integrated Authorities and other bodies
  • ISD Primary Care Information Dashboard (NHS access only) 

Secondary analysis and synthesis of data: including monitoring and reporting data

  • Future ad hoc projects focussed on specific policy or services
  • HIS monitoring of the Health and Social Care Partnerships’ tests of change (Primary Care (in hours, Mental Health, Out of Hours/ Urgent Care) 

Data linkage: will enable better understanding of population needs and patterns of service use and of impacts across the system

  • Scottish Longitudinal Study
  • Increasing numbers of linked datasets, some dealing with specific populations conditions 
  • The Burden of Disease study
  • Scottish Primary Care Information Resource (SPIRE)
  • ISD Primary Care Information Dashboard (NHS access only)

Primary research: qualitative and quantitative, including evaluation activity and, where feasible, analysis of economic impacts

  • Future ad hoc projects focussed on specific policy or services
  • Our Voice Citizen Panel
  • Research and evaluation of related programmes and projects (e.g. Pharmacists based in General Practice, House of Care, Links Workers) 
  • SSPC evaluation of the Primary Care Transformation Fund

Evidence reviews: draw on existing literature, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses, as well as less formal evidence summaries

  • International research literature on primary care
  • SSPC evidence briefings for GP Clusters
  • Think tank analyses (e.g. Nuffield Trust – Shifting the Balance of Care report)
  • Grey literature

Documentary analysis and policy reviews

  • Integration Authorities’ Primary Care Improvement Plans
  • Policy and strategy documents 

Patient Opinion/Care Opinion and other forms of service user feedback

  • Qualitative, unsolicited opinion and accounts of experiences 

Evaluability Assessment

For larger programmes of work or far-reaching policies, it may be appropriate to undertake an Evaluability Assessment before deciding on whether and how to evaluate.[34] An Evaluability Assessment is an objective process for decision-making about evaluation. It typically entails: structured engagement by researchers with stakeholders to clarify policy, project or programme outcomes and how they expect them to be achieved; the development and testing of a logic model or theory of change; the generation of research questions; and advice or recommendations on whether or not an evaluation can or should be conducted practically and at reasonable cost, and what methods should be used, often including an appraisal of different methods.



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