Wider research has found that a significant gap exists between the aspirations of policy makers and the capacity of third sector organisations to measure and value social outcomes. This issue was highlighted in all the case studies undertaken by the Devon Consortium. Not a lack of willingness but limited time, no funding and no clear benefit for the organisation. If we want to better understand social value of interventions like Dartmouth Caring we will need to invest time and money.
Key to producing good analysis of any kind is having good data. Evidence from the case study is that many VCS organisations collect data but don’t analyse it or don’t collect data in a format that is useful for public sector policy decisions It is i mportant for public sector to be clear on what outcomes they are looking to measure and with some agreed ideas around indicators and approaches. But measurement tools and systems need to be workable on the ground, as opposed to being imposed from the top down. Key evidence from the case studies was the extremely limited capacity of organisations to undertake evaluation activities. Outcomes star one model that can provide part of the picture. Case studies (like Dartmouth caring) another part of the picture. Final barrier to greater use of the approach is ensuring that there are the skills and capacity in place in all organisations, whether the individuals are analysts, practitioners, providers or commissioners. This is especially important for small third sector providers, who do not have the central support teams found in larger organisations. Therefore it is key to continue to expand the awareness and training sessions and build capacity to support a range of third sector organisations. Commissioners who want to be able to use social value in their decision making will need to allocate specific funding for analysis as part of any contracts that are let if they want to get some real results.
Dartmouth Caring Impact
Helen Vines, VINESWORKS and
Beverly Jones, South West Forum
DC - Who and why
Charity set up in 1988, 6 staff and over 60
volunteers. Seeks to;
“Help people stay in their home as long as is
Holistic approach to supporting clients
with multiple needs
Services free at point of delivery
Turnover 2010/11 = £131k
Collaborative working with local partners
Rapidly expanding range and take-up of
services to meet increasing needs
A flavour of DC
7967 interventions made/delivered, a yearly growth of 23%,
including (not exclusively):
1648 home visits made, a yearly growth of 28%.
852 shopping collections made, a yearly growth of 22%
826 transport journeys made
1991 Lunch Club hot meals provided
266 post-hospital discharge follow-ups (new service)
132 counselling sessions given, of which 99 were GP referrals (new
97 attending Memory Café in 7 months (new service)
78 Health & Wellbeing Checks for Carers (new service)
60 volunteers given their time freely, 30 of them regularly
1000+ volunteer hours given, a minimum value of £10,410**
Minimum of 36 preventions of re-admissions to hospital after
91 days, saving the NHS a minimum of £126,000 on re-
admission costs, and directly meeting NHS Outcome.
Tell the story plus…
Case study includes quantitative outputs, and…
Qualitative narrative and images
Financial data and monetisation where appropriate, eg.
• 1000+ volunteer hours given, a minimum value of £10,410.
• Minimum of 36 preventions of re-admissions to hospital after 91
days, saving the NHS a minimum of £126,000 on re-admission
costs, and directly meeting NHS Outcome.
Links to relevant strategies eg. JSNA, Devon’s Joint
Commissioning Strategy for People with Dementia
Testimony and anecdotes from range of perspectives:
• delivery partners inc NHS Trust, Complex Care team
• delivery staff including Bridge Workers
• clients and clients’ carers
What value to whom?
£££ saving of
“refreshing to have somewhere to turn for
prompt help with the jobs that do not fit
in to a specific category but are none the
Torbay NHS Trust
“Working for Dartmouth Caring has
allowed them into homes as a friendly face
but with their clinical back grounds they
are alert to potentially more complex
problems and can quickly get a client
signposted to the relevant medical
professional preventing deterioration to more
“Day Care for people suffering
dementia needs careful planning
and Dartmouth Caring helped
Sharon manage that process. Peter
now spends three days a week in one
day care and two in another and
according to Sharon, he has
Of value to all
“We have forged a relationship where I am able
to provide community centre support, advice and
clinical supervision and in return they have been
available to act as my eyes and ears providing
responsive visits and checking on my patients
When appropriate. I have found them to be
willing, approachable and professional.
Several of my patients have commented on how impressed they were with the post-discharge
follow-up that the BWs have initiated saying that this made them feel less
isolated and a little special. Let’s face it we could all do with that from time to time
especially following an illness.
I’m sure the BWs role with expand and evolve over time and I hope that the idea will
take off in other areas.”
Extract of letter from Community Matron for Totnes/Dartmouth,
Torbay NHS Trust, April 2011
VCS organisations often bring wider social,
environmental and economic benefits.
Longitudinal studies could produce valuable
information for policy makers.
Small organisations will need help to evidence social
Helen Vines, VINESWORKS
• Social auditor and social accounting trainer (10 yrs+)
• SAN South West Regional Co-ordinator, and founder director and
Company Secretary of SAN
• CES Outcomes Champion and PQASSO Mentor
• Social Impact Tracker trainer
• Social enterprise business adviser and evaluator
• email@example.com 07811 161280 / www.vinesworks.co.uk
Beverly Jones/Deborah Fisher, South West Forum
• Project Managers – Stronger Voice Greater Influence
• firstname.lastname@example.org 01392 247901
• email@example.com 01392 247901