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Evidence Reviews

We can appraise the latest evidence to inform your commissioning decisions

It is important for decision makers to have the best evidence available when planning the commissioning of future healthcare services and the treatments offered to people. There are a number of ways of compiling the evidence and SPH has developed a robust, defensible methodology for providing rapid evidence reviews for local and national clients.

Our process

We follow a clear protocol – developed in-house or provided by the client.  This may include;

  • Developing ethical frameworks for decision-making which will withstand judicial review
  • Framing and scoping an appropriate question to be addressed with the client to provide precise and robust answers to commissioning or providing issues
  • Defining the population, intervention, comparator and outcome (PICO) to structure the evidence review
  • Setting up the search strategy and initiating the search assessing evidence identified by the search to establish its relevance to the review
  • Synthesising and critically appraising the evidence for specific interventions as well as whole care pathways
  • Summarising the strength of the evidence available, appraising the methodology, level of evidence, statistical and clinical significance and limitations of the evidence
  • A structured internal quality assurance process for each review
  • Consultation process with external stakeholders
  • Presentation of finalised evidence review to clients
  • Defending reviews against potential challenge where necessary and appropriate
  • Development of policy emerging from the evidence review
  • Training sessions in evidence-based decision making for stakeholders

Why choose SPH?

We are a long standing provider of rapid evidence reviews for local and national clients. Over the past 15 years we have undertaken over 400 rapid evidence reviews and have successfully defended decisions based on our evidence at judicial review. We have a strong team of experienced reviewers within SPH and can call on further expert capacity from our extensive pool of associates. Please get in touch via our contact page.

Case Studies

National evidence reviews

SPH produce 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. Working to processes developed and agreed with the client, these expert reviews identify, summarise and critically appraise the latest published evidence and are used to inform the development of national policy. All of our national reviews include consultation on the draft report by clinical experts.

Supporting Priorities Committees

Our work with Priorities Committees enables NHS commissioners to balance complex choices, backed up with independent evidence reviews and ethical frameworks. We provide an end-to-end service, supporting commissioners to develop their commissioning decision making processes from topic selection through to preparing final policy statements. This includes the development of an ethical framework to inform the decision making process, topic selection, evidence reviews, consultation with clinical specialists, operational support to priorities committees and drafting of clinical commissioning recommendations. We have also worked with commissioners around the country in developing and advising on setting up their own decision making processes. We have been involved in supporting commissioners in appeals against NICE guidance and have experience of supporting commissioners in two judicial reviews.

Bespoke evidence reviews

SPH undertook an evidence review on the impact and cost-effectiveness of self-management programmes on chronic disease management to inform local commissioning. This included working with a local public health team to identify evaluations of existing NHS Expert Patient and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programmes and commenting on their impact.