Doctors Opinion Research Services (ORS) is a regular and conscientious provider of research and consultancy support to a range of health and social care organisations, partnerships and strategies, helping to scope, plan and evaluate services and policies in primary and secondary care. Our work has included process and outcome evaluations, organisational reviews, health promotion campaigns, evaluation support – including acting as the sole provider of research expertise to the flagship Inequalities in Health Fund.

ORS is familiar and experienced with the policy context in the UK that is shaping the modernisation agenda in the NHS and in health and social care more broadly. We regularly work on high-profile projects often addressing some of the main areas of political and clinical interest. These include recent studies looking at clinical engagement and governance arrangements; the expansion of community based care in areas such as chronic conditions, cardiac rehabilitation and intermediate care; and the re-configuration of hospital services on a local, regional and national basis.

Amongst the ORS staff with considerable experience in the health and social care field, managing director Dale Hall has a long-standing interest having served for three years on a Multi-Centre Research Ethics Committee, and for four years as a non-executive director of Iechyd Morgannwg Health Authority. Dale has also recently been appointed as an Associate of The Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC), University of Glamorgan, which was established in 1995 to provide a bridge between academia and the ‘real worlds’ of health and social care.

The following summaries provide an overview of some of the projects in our portfolio of health related work.

Research Projects

Stroke Awareness Campaign for Bedfordshire, Luton and Hertfordshire PCTs
NHS logo ORS undertook a series of focus groups to inform the localised delivery of a national awareness raising campaign. The study sought to establish residents’ knowledge of strokes and the symptoms, treatments and impact of the condition. The research also tested reactions to proposed campaign materials, and explored potential ways of delivering the campaign messages. The work was undertaken as a longitudinal study with a follow up post-campaign evaluation to follow in 2010.

Organ Donation and Presumed Consent for the Welsh Assembly Government
WAG logo The controversial and topical subject of organ donation was addressed, on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government, in a telephone survey of a random sample of Welsh residents. Using our social research call centre ORS provided a swift turnaround for a time-sensitive project in order to provide the Assembly with an indication of public opinion.

Looked After Children in Rhondda Cynon Taf - A Service Appraisal
Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC logo ORS and the University of Glamorgan were commissioned to undertake research into the processes and reasoning behind the high numbers of children on the child protection register and in the looked after care system in Rhondda Cynon Taf . The key objective of the study was to inform improvements in preventative services and multi-agency decision making processes in relation to these areas.

NHS Customer Service Survey for Hertfordshire PCTs
NHS logo This online employee survey investigated how patients and their companions are treated whilst accessing NHS services. While the relative merits of clinical treatments are more readily evaluated and understood, the attitude of staff and the way service users are communicated with are key issues which invoke many complaints about health services. The survey provided a mechanism to collect views on NHS services to inform local indicators and targets to improve the service user experience.

Research Support

Supporting the Inequalities in Health Fund Research Projects
NHS Wales logo Provision of evaluation support and training to 62 Inequalities in Health Fund Research Projects – involving support to middle and senior clinicians and managers on a wide range of health promotion projects across the whole of Wales. In particular, the work covered medical ethics, research design, survey and sampling, qualitative research, report writing and evaluation. Read more...

Strategy and Policy Development

Development of a Rural Health Strategy for Wales
NLIAH logo National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare (NLIAH) commissioned ORS to undertake an innovative programme of consultation to contribute to a rural health strategy for Wales. The project involved consultation with clinicians, diverse focus groups with the general public and special interest groups across Wales, discussion forums at agricultural shows and detailed analysis of feedback forms. Read more...

Public Consultation on Hospital Reconfiguration in Hertfordshire
NHS logo ORS was commissioned to undertake an independent analysis of over 6,000 complex public responses about controversial hospital reconfiguration plans outlined in the consultation document, Delivering Quality Healthcare for Hertfordshire. The findings were presented to the PCT Boards and enabled decisions to be taken without fear of judicial review challenges, which earlier had looked likely. Read more...

Rhondda Cynon Taf Sexual Health and Teenage Pregnancy Strategy
Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC logo Working in partnership with the University of Glamorgan, ORS was commissioned by Rhondda Cynon Taf to develop a Strategy for Preventing Teenage Pregnancy, Supporting Teenage Parents and Meeting Sexual Health Needs. ORS spoke to young people about these issues, including discussion groups in schools, youth clubs/drop-in centres, on-street (via detached/outreach youth workers) and in established ‘semi-formal’ groups.

Equitable Access to Healthcare for East and North, and West Hertfordshire PCTs
NHS logo This review investigated public views on the proposed introduction of GP-led health centres across England (following the Health Minister’s pledge outlined in ‘Our NHS Our Future’). The research undertaken by ORS included a literature review and focus group work with a range of public groups.

Evaluative Reviews

Review of NHS Wales Staff Communications
WAG logo ORS was commissioned to undertake an evaluative review of NHS Wales Staff Communications on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government Department of Health and Social Care. The project was based on a year-long study of the DHSC’s communications with health employees across the whole of the NHS in Wales involving both quantitative and qualitative research techniques.

Baseline Review of NLIAH
NLIAH logo ORS undertook a baseline assessment study of the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare (NLIAH) to gauge the understanding of their organisational priorities and their early achievements since the organisation was established. The results of the study presented strategic guidance to the organisation and provided an effective framework for NLIAH’s future development.