Evaluation and Trials Unit

We deliver compelling, rigorous and honest evaluation

How can LSBU-ETU help me?

We understand that you want to deliver the best service possible and need to be able to demonstrate your successes in a robust and compelling way. By drawing on our experts in the fields of mental health, service evaluation and trial management, LSBU-ETU can help you achieve these aims.  To find out more, you can book a free, no-commitment exploratory Discovery call or meeting by emailing etu@lsbu.ac.uk.

How does LSBU-ETU approach its work?

Our approach draws on both qualitative and quantitative methods. We specialise in taking a community/client centred perspective – evaluating the lived experience of the communities and populations you serve and the individuals that provide the services themselves. These insights can be combined with our expertise in traditional service evaluation and clinical trial methods to capture the metrics needed to demonstrate the quality of your provision. Together, this allows us to provide a holistic evaluation of your programme which tells you (and the world) how well you are doing and, crucially, why. We can achieve this in part because all our team are leaders in their respective fields - not only staying current with the evidence base, but actively shaping it.

Often, we need to collect new data to evaluate a service or make development recommendations. However, we also recognise the value of the information you hold already, both in terms of numeric data, but also the stories and experiences of your staff and community. We aim to draw on all sources of evidence to provide a well-rounded, in-depth and defensible evaluation of your work.

Our services

Service evaluation:

  • Qualitative and quantitative service evaluation and report preparation
  • Existing data analysis and reporting
  • Clinical trial management

Service development and planning services:

  • Change recommendation
  • Service set-up advice
  • Ongoing evaluation design services

Our guiding principals

  • We will understand how you do things: Evaluation should not obstruct delivery – we will work within your organisation and clients’ culture to ensure you can focus on doing what you do best.
  • We will be honest: You will get a thorough and open review of your services – if things aren’t working as well as they might, we will let you know. Where things are going well, we will demonstrate how we can be sure of your success.
  • We will innovate: Every evaluation has its own opportunities and challenges. We will design an evaluation which meets your needs and leverages your strengths - not just pluck a design and set of methods ‘off the shelf’.
  • We will not overpromise: While we can cannot guarantee how a project will run, we will give you an honest appraisal of what we think is achievable in the planning phase.  If we think the work is not possible in the resource envelope available, we will work with you to design an appropriate solution. We will be open about our evaluation of the manageable and unmanageable risks to the project.

How much does service evaluation or a trial cost?

We understand that resourcing for evaluation can be an issue, but also know that high quality research takes time and money. We will work with you to identify your needs and budget accordingly. If a mismatch occurs, we will offer suggestions about what can be done.

How can I find out more?

The first step is to book a free, no-commitment, Discovery meeting – where we discuss if and how we can meet your needs. Simply email etu@lsbu.ac.uk to book.

Case studies

We have a track record of successful evaluations working with clients ranging from small tech start-ups, to national level service providers. Projects our team have/are evaluating include;

  • Mental Health First Aid England: Mental Health First Aid England have commissioned a UK wide evaluation of the Mental Health First Aid in workplaces. The EMPOWER - Evaluation of Mental Health First Aid from the Perspective OWorkplace End UseRs – project is a three-year study that will evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and social impact of MHFA,,  explore participants’ experience of MHFA and, investigate how MHFA impacts the culture of organisations adopting it. We will use an embedded mixed methods design comprising a two-arm clustered Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) comparing MHFA and usual practice, with embedded process, economic, qualitative and social impact evaluations. A Pilot study trialling the study’s processes will be conducted prior to the main study.
  • Hello Tomo Ltd: Hello Tomo are working with us as part of the Simulation for Digital Health ERDF programme to help evaluate the efficacy of their mental health chat-bot. By using a combination of focus groups and a purpose designed quantitative study we identified key measures to be included in their app to capture outcome data. We have used the data they collect as part of their routine operation to plan an independent, pre-registered, service evaluation.  This evaluation is currently underway.
  • Allen Carr’s Easyway: We provided the first gold standard randomised controlled trial of the Allen Carr’s Easyway to quit smoking, comparing chemically verified outcomes at six months between the ACE method and NHS 1-1 stop smoking counselling with funded pharmacotherapy. This Phase III trial supports the efficacy of the method, and has been accepted for publication in the high impact academic journal, Addiction.
  • Social Prescribing: Members of LSBU-ETU has contributed to evidence reviews of social prescribing (SP) organisations and is part of a consortium of universities aiming to identify the ‘active ingredients’ of SP. We have significant involvement in setting up and evaluating SP programmes, and we are also working with new SP schemes to ensure their link-working processes meet client needs, and they work with their local communities as effectively as possible.

Projects undertaken by LSBU-ETU are usually led by one of our Professorial Board – a team of leading experts in basic and applied research. By drawing from the wide range of specialists at LSBU, we can tailor build the team which meets your projects needs.

Staff directory

View the full Evaluation and Trials Unit staff.