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Evaluation of the Care Services Improvement Partnership


The Social Care Workforce Research Unit was commissioned by the Department of Health to undertake an evaluation of the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP). The research started in November 2005 and, following an extension of the project to include additionally commissioned work, concluded in September 2009. 

Research team

Michelle Cornes, SCWRU
Jill Manthorpe, SCWRU
Martin Stevens, SCWRU
Peter Huxley, Swansea University
Sherrill Evans, Swansea University


Department of Health


In autumn 2003, the Department of Health Care Services Directorate was formed, with responsibility for the programmes that had been set up to find ways to improve health and social care services. Nine programmes were brought together to form CSIP, namely:

  • National Support Service for Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services
  • Integrated Care Network
  • Integrating Community Equipment Support Team
  • National Institute for Mental Health in England
  • Health and Social Care Change Agent Team
  • Valuing People Support Team
  • Change for Children
  • Health in Criminal Justice
  • Care Services Efficiency Team

The evaluation comprised three phases. Phase One (see Cornes et al., 2007, below) explored the merger process which saw the integration of the nine previously independent ‘brands’. Phases two and three were case studies of individual service improvement programmes. Phase Two explored the development of a ‘Commissioning eBook’ (see Cornes et al., 2008, below).

The third and final phase contributed to the evaluation of the ‘Alcohol Improvement Programme’. This aimed to support Primary Care Trusts to reduce alcohol related admissions to hospital and included the development of a virtual learning centre which was managed and run by CSIP until the brand was phased out in early 2009.


The third and final phase of the evaluation involved the co-ordination of a wide range of evaluation activity across 20 Primary Care Trusts involved as ‘Early Implementers’ in the Alcohol Improvement Programme.


Cornes, M. & Manthorpe, J., (2009), 'Evaluation of the Alcohol Learning Centre. Feedback report from early implementer Primary Care Trusts' [pdf, 329 KB], London: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London.

Cornes, M., Manthorpe, J., Stevens, M., Waddington, P., Huxley, P. Evans, S. & Maegusuku-Hewett, T., (2008), 'Commissioning eBook Impact Study: Report of Preliminary Findings from Phase 2 of the Evaluation of the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP)' [pdf, 481 KB], London: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London.

Cornes, M., Evans, S., Huxley, P., Manthorpe, J., Stevens, M. & Waddington, P., (2007), 'Turbulent Times: Report of Preliminary Findings from Year 1 of the Evaluation of the Care Services Improvement Partnership' [pdf, 373 KB], London: Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London.
Huxley, P., Maegusuku-Hewett, T., Evans, S., Cornes, M., Manthorpe, J. & Stevens, M., (2010), 'Better evidence for better commissioning: a study of the evidence base of generic social care commissioning guides in the UK', Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 6(3): 291-307.

Cornes, M., Manthorpe, J., Huxley, P., Waddington, P., Stevens, M. & Evans, S., (2009, online), 'Developing world class commissioning competencies in care services in England: the role of the service improvement agency', Health & Social Care in the Community.

Cornes, M. & Clark, M. (2008) Alcohol Improvement Programme Evaluation. Department of Health Alcohol Improvement Programme National Workshop, 28 November, Leeds.


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