Using client feedback to assess our impact

Last week we won two prestigious awards; an RSPH Three Year Health and Wellbeing Award and the Public Health Minister’s Award. One of the things Gateway was commended for was the way we take feedback from our clients.

“…the strategy for the compilation of clients’ feedback is accessible and innovative, facilitating the capture of users’ comments and feelings about the service they are receiving.” –RSPH

Impact Assessment AppAll of our services – the Pregnancy Outreach Workers Service, Health Trainers, Lighten Up and EAST – collect client feedback using our Impact Assessment App. At the first visit the staff member will take an initial statement, then we record feedback at each subsequent visit too.

This always includes a written (or dictated) statement, but can also include audio, video or a photo.

Richard (pictured below) is a Health Trainer who works from a surgery in South Birmingham. Like all our Health Trainers, he sees around 15 clients a week.

He says, “I ask every client, after every session, if they would mind saying a few words about how they’ve been getting on.

“We look at the App together on my tablet. Some prefer me to type, some type themselves. Some people let me record them speaking, and some will go on video to give their feedback.

richard“We take feedback every session, no matter how short the statement, or how negative the client might be feeling. Often the negative feelings are useful because in future sessions we can look back together and say ‘look how far you’ve come!’

“I find it really useful to be able to show people how the work they’re putting in is having an effect over time.”

As an organisation, the feedback every service gets from every client is extremely useful, as there is such a variety of data. Hearing from clients directly, rather than ticking boxes, means that we are getting a truer picture of the impact we are having. Recording clients in this way means that we often see issues and patterns that might not otherwise have shown up, which helps us to develop our services. It also makes it easier for us to present information about our work, and the impact it has, to others.

The development of the Impact Assessment App was a partnership between us, our friends at Podnosh, and the Nominet Trust. We are always looking to fill gaps in service, and we have always tried to look at a broad range of ways in which to do that, so working in partnership with other organisations, and using digital technology, has been a natural progression for us.

To give you an idea of the sorts of things our clients record onto the App, we’ve cut together a selection of audio clips. The people whose voices you can hear in this video are all Richard’s clients and the recordings were all taken over a single week. We think this gives a real sense of the sort of day to day work that Health Trainers do.