Background: Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are mandated to use research evidence effectively to ensure optimum use of resources by the National Health Service (NHS), both in accelerating innovation and in stopping the use of less effective practices and models of service delivery. We intend to evaluate whether access to a demand-led evidence service improves uptake and use of research evidence by NHS commissioners compared with less intensive and less targeted alternatives.
Methods/design: This is a controlled before and after study involving CCGs in the North of England. Participating CCGs will receive one of three interventions to support the use of research evidence in their decision-making: 1) consulting plus responsive push of tailored evidence; 2) consulting plus an unsolicited push of non-tailored evidence; or 3) standard service unsolicited push of non-tailored evidence. Our primary outcome will be changed at 12 months from baseline of a CCGs ability to acquire, assess, adapt and apply research evidence to support decision-making. Secondary outcomes will measure individual clinical leads and managers¿ intentions to use research evidence in decision making. Documentary evidence of the use of the outputs of the service will be sought. A process evaluation will evaluate the nature and success of the interactions both within the sites and between commissioners and researchers delivering the service.
Discussion: The proposed research will generate new knowledge of direct relevance and value to the NHS. The findings will help to clarify which elements of the service are of value in promoting the use of research evidence. Those involved in NHS commissioning will be able to use the results to inform how best to build the infrastructure they need to acquire, assess, adapt and apply research evidence to support decision-making and to fulfil their statutory duties under the Health and Social Care Act.