The cold weather Plan evaluation: An example of pragmatic evidence-based policy making?

A. Ghosh, C. Carmichael, Alex Elliot, Helen Green, Virginia Murray, C. Petrokofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: An evaluation of the Cold Weather Plan (CWP) for England 2011-2012 was undertaken in April 2012 to generate the basis for further revisions. It is widely considered good practice to formulate and revise policy on the basis of the best available evidence. This paper examines whether the evaluation is an example of pragmatic evidence-based policy-making. Study design: A process evaluation with a formative multimethods approach. Methods: An electronic survey and national workshop were conducted alongside the production of a number of summary reports from the Health Protection Agency surveillance systems and Met Office meteorological data. The Department of Health and the Met Office were consulted on how the evaluation recommendations shaped the revised CWP and Met Office Cold Weather Alerting System respectively. Results: The Cold Weather Plan survey had 442 responses, a majority from Local Authorities, and from all regions of England. Thematic analysis generated qualitative data, which along with feedback from the workshop were synthesized into six main recommendations. Reviewing the new CWP and the Met Office Cold Weather Alerting System revealed significant modifications on the basis of the evaluation. Conclusions: The evaluation sets the context for cold weather and health during the 2011-2012 winter. This study shows that the CWP 2012-2013 was revised on the basis of the national evaluation recommendations and is an example of pragmatic evidence-based policy-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-627
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health
Volume128
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Cold weather planning
  • Evaluation
  • Health
  • Policy

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