Social and Health Evaluation Unit


The Social and Health Evaluation Unit (SHEU) was established at the University of Chester in 2000 by Professor Roger Ellis OBE on the basis of his thirty years of experience of undertaking contract social research and developing contract research units. For the first ten years the unit was led by Professor Elaine Hogard who brought her extensive experience of social research in Canada, USA and Ireland. She now leads the Canadian branch of SHEU.

In 2011 SHEU opened a branch in Identity Exploration Limited Belfast to undertake work in Ireland and also established a branch in the Northern Ontario School of Medicine Canada giving an international dimension to its work. In 2012 the UK base for the unit moved to Buckinghamshire New University.  In 2013 a branch was opened at the University of Pecs, Hungary.

The Unit specialises in the evaluation of programmes of social, health and education intervention. The unit employs an innovative trident methodology for its evaluations which considers for any programme being evaluated:

  • Outcomes
  • Process
  • Multiple Stakeholder Perspectives

Four important principles underpin the Unit’s work:

  • Assurance of the highest standards of data gathering, combining quantitative and qualitative methods, to contribute to the formative and summative evaluation of programmes.
  • Cost effective delivery to contract specification in a timely fashion.
  • Identification with the core values and objectives of programmes dedicated to individual and social development.
  • The involvement of providers and recipients of such programmes in the process of evaluation.

The unit has completed more than one hundred contracted programme evaluations all of which have led to published reports which have influenced policy and practice. The distinctive approach and methods of the unit have been recognized in a number of refereed publications in the leading programme evaluation journals.

Examples of the work undertaken by SHEU include the following programme evaluations:

  • Evaluation of the Clinical Facilitator in Nurse Education
  • Study of the Warrington Ethnic Minority Community's Perceptions of Public Safety
  • A survey of 7500 businesses in the Thames Valley region, examining the relationship between business activity and community safety
  • Evaluation of a Multi-Professional Skills Laboratory
  • Evaluation of Shaping the Future, a multi agency staff development project
  • Evaluation of Sure Start Birkenhead North
  • Evaluation of Sure Start Birkenhead Ferries
  • Evaluation of Sure Start Birkenhead Central
  • Evaluation of Sure Start Huyton
  • Evaluation of the Hanen Speech and Language Development Project
  • Evaluation of the Assistant Practitioner Multi-professional Project
  • Evaluation of the Making a Difference Nurse Education Curriculum
  • Evaluation of the Non-medical Prescribing e-learning Project Evaluation of the Cheshire Constabulary's Safer Homes Initiative on behalf of the Home Office Police Standards Unit.
  • Evaluation of the Leeds Personality Disorder Network Partnership Working
  • Evaluation of the Resettlement of Adults with Profound Learning Difficulties from Hospital to Supported Community Housing
  • Evaluation of a Dementia Support Programme
  • Evaluation of Night Support for Adults with Learning Difficulties
  • Evaluation of Personalisation and Individual Service Funds for Adults with Learning Difficulties
  • Evaluation of ‘Experts by Experience’ Programme

The Unit has worked closely with the Practice Development and Research Units (PDRU) established by the University of Chester   in partnership with Trusts. These include PDRU for Surgical and Anaesthetic Nursing, Macclesfield District and General Hospital; PDRU for Women’s Services, Arrowe Park Hospital; PDRU for Children’s and Adolescent’s Services, Leighton Hospital; PDRU for Work with the Elderly, Arrowe Park Hospital and PDRU for Clinical Facilitation, Arrowe Park Hospital

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