Action on Hearing Loss
Understanding the impact of specialist social care
A collaborative KTP project with LSBU, Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) and RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind people) has delivered a better understanding of the outcomes and impacts of the work of these two charities.
A generic model, used by both organisations, has been developed to provide metrics and KPIs to deliver improvements, both social and economic, in social care services. The measurement tool is being implemented in 55 services in Action on Hearing Loss and over 300 staff in both charities have been trained in measuring soft outcomes and assessing impact.
A prototype model was piloted at 11 of Action on Hearing Loss’ Care and Support sites including residential, outreach and supported living services. “The people we work with have very high communication requirements, mental health issues and learning disabilities so it is very hard to capture information about what has changed in a person’s life when it’s so hard to communicate,” explains Lindsay Hodgson, Associate. The data generated on outcomes and impacts will be used to improve Action on Hearing Loss care and support services and will realign resources. “It’s a personal change but within a framework that allows all of the personal change to be standardised across all of the services. This means we can make really bold statements about changing people’s lives and have the statistics and evidence to back it up.”
“It has enabled us to monitor and deliver a better service and make a stronger case for government and funders about the kind of specialist intervention we can provide,” explains Mark Baker, Head of Social Research and Policy at Action on Hearing Loss. “We are now seeing a fundamental shift in the way we approach change and measure our impact. We were already at the forefront of impact measurement for the voluntary sector and this project takes us a huge leap forward in being able to show the value of what we do. It has allowed us to deliver real change at real value for money.”
The success and benefits of this collaborative project have surpassed the expectations of everyone involved. “I’ve qualified as a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter , I’ve got my diploma in Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), as well as numerous other training opportunities and qualifications,” says Lindsay.
“I don’t think we would have taken on this project at all without the help of LSBU. It’s not only about getting a skilled Associate but also about the cross working with the university and getting the academic support back into the organisation,” comments Mark Baker.
“The two year project was highly successful and highly innovative. As academic supervisor I found the experience of research development work with well known brands rewarding and enjoyable.” reflects LSBU Academic supervisor Charles Jardine.