Evaluating the success of the Vocational Rehabilitation Project
The overarching outcome for the Vocational Rehabilitation Project is that a model of Vocational Rehabilitation will have been identified which supports people who have been diagnosed with cancer will be able to return to or remain in work if they choose to, with any adjustments to their role that they need.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Strategy proposed a four stage model of Vocational Rehabilitation and recommended that this be tested and refined to produce a robust national Vocational Rehabilitation Model with the potential to be adopted nationally.
To achieve this the seven chosen pilot sites ensured that people with cancer were:
- Fully informed about their statutory rights, what impact the cancer and its treatment would have upon them in relation to work, and how they could manage this in the workplace
- Supported with any physical rehabilitation interventions needed to enable them to return to or continue in work
- Equipped with the confidence and coping skills necessary for them to return to or continue in work
- Provided with appropriate support from their employers.
Evaluating the VR project through the pilots
Evaluation of the pilot sites is integral to the future of vocational rehabilitation services for people with cancer in the UK. While NCSI is funding the piloting of this model, ongoing funding will need to come from primary care and/or social care services. The outcomes of the evaluation of the vocational rehabilitation pilot sites will be used to influence stakeholders and decision makers such as NHS commissioners, local authorities and government agencies. If the project is successful, it will be possible to make compelling arguments to resource, improve and develop the services needed by people with cancer who wish to remain in or return to work.
At a strategic level there is a need to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of the pilot sites, and how the vocational rehabilitation model improves workforce/skills retention across the UK. At an individual level there is a need to demonstrate the benefits of vocational rehabilitation services to the wellbeing of people living with cancer, and their families. Research findings relating to VR and long term health conditions will also be drawn on
The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery has been commissioned to carry out the evaluation of the project through the pilot sites. Their past experience of establishing and evaluating a vocational rehabilitation model for multiple sclerosis patients will assist them enormously. They are using a realistic evaluation approach, which includes interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and case studies. The use of a control group will also allow them to assess the health economic arguments for the vocational rehabilitation model.
The evaluators are assessing the pilot sites on whether their approaches are:
Effective: Do they support people with cancer to remain in or return to work if they so choose?
Personalised: Services must be focused on, and tailored to meet, the needs and goals of individual patients.
Sustainable: We need clear evidence on the cost effectiveness of the model, to provide evidence for why NHS commissioners, local authorities and government agencies should fund the model long-term.
Scaleable: We want to identify a version of the model that is capable of being rolled out nationally.
Throughout the 15 months of the project there have been five facilitated ‘learn and share’ events where the pilot sites and the evaluators have come together to challenge and refine the model. At the April 2011 Learn and Share event it was agreed that the original four level model was in practice a three level model which better reflected the services being provided – please see the VR Project second interim evaluation report for more detail on this development.
During the pilot period three interim reports have been created (September 2010, June and November 2011). In March 2012 the preliminary executive summary was created and in July 2012 the VR final evaluation report and VR final evaluation summary report where published. All six evaluation reports are available to download below.
These reports will be used to influence Commissioning Guidelines and the future development of vocational rehabilitation services.
Last updated on August 14, 2012
- VR 2nd interim report June 2011 [PDF, 752.26KB]
- VR Evaluation - Early Findings Sept 2010 [PDF, 240KB]
- NCSI VR Evaluation Final Report - Full Final Version July 2012 [PDF, 384KB]
- NCSI VR Evaluation Final Report - Summary Final Version July 2012 [PDF, 248KB]
- NCSI VR Project Preliminary Exec Summary March 2012 [PDF, 196KB]
- NCSI VR Third Interim Evaluation Report November 2011 [PDF, 890KB]