Local influencing: how to evidence your impact
On this page, get information about assessing local needs, demonstrating what you can offer, and tools to help get your impact across.
When you’re talking to stakeholders, you need to show how your organisation can benefit them and the people they serve.
You should be able to clearly articulate what you do, what impact you have (and could have if changes were made) and what resources you need to make that impact.
Assessing local needs
Health and care systems across the UK are taking a population health management approach to service planning and delivery. This begins with assessing the needs of the local population.
Hospices and end of life care providers can contribute data, insight and analysis that might not be captured by the processes used in statutory health and care systems. You might:
- have information to share about the needs of the communities you serve
- be planning to carry out a needs assessment, which your local health and care system could support and include
- have activity data about how your services are currently used and what gaps you are identifying.
Needs assessments are often led by public health or Local Authority bodies, but they inform strategic decision-makers across the system. Your input can improve service planning for your communities and help you build relationships with strategic decision-makers.
Read Sue Ryder's case studies about hospices and integrated care systems working together to identify and meet local need.
Introduce your local decision-makers to PopNAT!
PopNAT is Hospice UK’s free tool which brings relevant end of life care population data together in one place. It helps palliative and end of life care providers and commissioners plan for future needs and services in their local geographies.
What can you offer?
Decision-makers are faced with a range of problems on a daily basis. You need to demonstrate that you can provide high quality, cost effective and timely solutions. All your statements should be backed up with data and evidence.
Decision-makers might not be familiar with hospice care – so take every opportunity to show them what you do.
Your networks, collaborative working and reach into the community will often overlap into areas your local system wants to develop. You might already be providing a solution that they don’t know about – for example bereavement support or rehabilitative care.
You might have service evaluations that you can share to show the impact you’ve had. Or you could use our PCOM360 tool to measure and display patient-centred outcomes.
Diversity and inclusion are an increasingly important consideration for local decision-makers. Highlight how you reach underserved communities and amplify people’s voices – whether through direct outreach, consultation work, or co-producing services.
Discuss ways in which you could extend your services to meet more people’s needs (with the right support in place).
Find out more about promoting equality at the end of life.
In the wake of COVID-19 there is much more awareness of the challenges faced by health and social care providers such as hospitals, GPs and care homes. Hospices can support the local system and reduce hospital admissions or stays.
Be prepared to evidence the cost and impact of what you provide compared to the cost of other services such as hospital wards. You will need to be clear about your current and potential capacity and utilisation rates.
Hospices are able to work more flexibly than larger statutory sector organisations. This means you can quickly adapt and develop services to meet local need. It makes hospices ideal for piloting innovative new models of care.
Demonstrate how you adapted, developed and reconfigured services at rapid pace in the context of COVID-19; this is exactly the kind of practice that systems will be seeking to promote, resource, and emulate.
Read more about how hospices adapted during the pandemic.
There are a range of tools you can use to help state your case to key stakeholders:
- making a business case
- statistics and data
Putting together a business case will help you demonstrate that you are delivering vital, high-quality, cost-effective care that saves money elsewhere.
Include projections of potential financial challenges your services will face to demonstrate that you're horizon planning. This will also highlight gaps that other funding could help bridge.
Infographics help you get complex information across in a way that’s quick, clear, impactful and memorable. It’s worth taking the time to think about how you can best display the evidence to back up your case.
For example, Birmingham City Council has used a version of a train map to graphically demonstrate how life expectancy changes in different areas of the city.
Using statistics can add weight to your cause. As a general rule, it’s best to use them sparingly for the most impact. If you’re looking at trends over time or showing differences between different groups, check that the datasets you’re using are comparable.
Think about what data collection already exists, where you can feed in or extract information, and whether you need to collect different data yourself.
Using the local media can help you gain traction on a challenging issue. It can also help you raise awareness of hospice services.
Find out more about leveraging the local media to raise awareness.
Share your ideas and best practice
What do you think about the ideas on this page? Talk it through and share examples by joining our online discussion.