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Service Evaluation is Good News!

Helen Jones's picture
By Helen Jones |  October 25, 2014 |

Helen Jones CEO of Leeds GATELeeds GATE people spend a lot of time celebrating things and we are at it again! This time it is the findings of a ‘rapid service evaluation’ which you can read here Leeds GATE Service Evaluation 2014. We commissioned the evaluation for a number of practical reasons around PQASSO accreditation and of course for our funders.  But the main reason for the evaluation was the desire to answer the question “are we doing what we say we are doing?”  The answer seems to be "yes! (but you aren't reporting it enough)".

Especially for the people who govern Leeds GATE via their participation in the Executive Board, it is really important that they don’t just take the word of the staff team, or indeed other members accessing our service.  The Executive Board members know that they can benefit greatly from an external, well qualified, person taking a gander ‘under the bonnet’ so to speak.

This ‘rapid service evaluation’ approach has a number of advantages.  It is a bit like taking a slice out of the middle of a loaf of bread. The evaluation doesn’t attempt to count how many slices there are altogether, but rather, takes a look at the quality of the bread. We are celebrating because the evaluation seems to have found a healthy, tasty and nourishing product.

Our Evaluator, Andy Bagley of Real-Improvement, promised that he would be honest with us.  The Executive board don’t want something that flatters them but doesn’t help them in deciding what to do next.  A bit like a food critic saying only “yes that’s lovely”. Well it might be lovely, but why? And how could it be even better? We're happy that Andy's report is going to help us to be even better. The report Andy has produced gives us a series of recommendations for improvement which we will be looking at over the next few months.  The big challenge is clearly about improving how we articulate and describe the benefit that our services have to individuals and also to our wider communities.  This is not a challenge unique to Leeds GATE but the evaluation clearly indicates that we haven’t quite got ‘the paperwork’ right to properly share and promote the good work that we are doing.  Onward and upward!


*NB there are couple of corrections needed on the report which we will be amending when Andy gets back from Europe in a week or two.

Firstly Cottingley Springs is not actually in the Morley ward (page 13). It is in the Farnley & Wortley ward which borders onto Morley.

Secondly (page 12) traditional Gypsy and Traveller diets (ie those from 20 or more years ago) probably were quite healthy.  Modern diets, as in all communities, may not be quite so good.

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