National evidence reviews

SPH produces a number of high profile rapid evidence reviews for national clients every year assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a wide range of treatments or potential interventions.

Rapid evidence reviews for NHS England

SPH has produced rapid evidence reviews for NHS England Specialised Services since 2012. These high-profile reviews consider the clinical and cost-effectiveness of treatments and interventions for a variety of conditions. The requirements of this contract include:

  • Supporting development of research questions through liaison with the commissioner and senior stakeholders
  • Supporting development of a PICOS table
  • Liaising with a healthcare information scientist in Libraries to design the literature search
  • Reviewing abstracts and selecting papers according to the agreed methodology
  • Producing the review to an agreed template
  • Internal quality assurance
  • Consultation on the review with clinical specialists
  • Producing a final report following consultation comments.


Commissioned evidence reviews

We also produce bespoke evidence reviews to assist customers address specific commissioning issues, for example:

  • Reviews to inform national policy on population screening for the UK National Screening Committee
  • Reviews to inform strategy design for preventing alcohol exposed pregnancies through understanding the predictors of alcohol consumption and the effectiveness of interventions for Blackpool Better Start
  • A review on the development and use of early warning indicators in qualitative information for the Care Quality Commission
  • A review on the contribution of community pharmacy in supporting/delivering lifestyle interventions and health protection/prevention for the Pharmacy and Public Health Forum
  • A review on the impact and cost-effectiveness of self-management programmes on chronic disease management for a Public Health team.
Case Studies

Improving allocative value decision-making in the stroke pathway (STAR tool)

The Mid and South Essex stroke stewardship group wanted to better understand which of the interventions they delivered were high value and which were low value to inform decision-making on use of resources and investment. Arden & GEM’s Healthcare Solutions team provided training and support to enable the group to use the Socio-Technical Allocation of Resources (STAR) process in value based decision-making. As a result, the MSE stroke stewardship group has the insight needed to improve the allocation of their existing resources and improve outcomes for their patients. SPH were part of the project team, conducting a librarian review of economic evidence relating to cost-effectiveness of the stroke interventions to feed into the first workshop. This comprised a review of existing economic cost-effectiveness assessments (ideally by NICE as these are recognised as the guiding authority within the NHS). Where an economic assessment had not been undertaken then this was noted for further consideration. More detail here

Health Needs Assessment for Children & Young People

SPH carried out a Health Needs Assessment for a local authority that was recommissioning its Healthy Child Programme (HCP). The purpose was to review whether existing provision and service configuration of the HCP was meeting the needs of children and young people in the county, and to identify gaps and potential options for improvement. This is a preventative programme which includes Health Visiting and School Nursing Services, Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) Programme and healthy start vouchers and vitamins, linking with childhood immunisation services, community paediatrics, speech and language, services for children with a learning disability and complex needs and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), among others. The HNA was carried out jointly by SPH and the local authority, with the epidemiological needs assessment and service description provided by the local authority. The report was compiled using a range of publicly available and locally collected epidemiological and service use data. In addition, SPH carried out a consultation of key corporate stakeholders as well as children and young people, their parents and carers. This included semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders in a range of organisations, a survey of a wider range of staff who work with children and young people and a survey of children and young people, their parents and cares which was distributed through the services.