How the appraisal has been used

The Sustain Rapid Appraisal has been successfully used across a range of different specialties and is fully adaptable for any profession or service, both within the NHS and wider public sector.


Health visiting

The Sustain Rapid Appraisal has been used extensively across the health visiting sector to measure the progress made in services across the Midlands and East of England as part of the national call to action programme.

Delivering the Sustain Rapid Appraisal across Midlands and the East

Date completed 01.03.2013

Number of sites: 33

The Sustain Rapid Appraisal was successfully used to benchmark 33 health visiting services to give NHS Midlands and East of England a clear picture of where each of its providers stood and the steps required to fully implement the health visiting call to action.
To complete the programme, Sustain visited all 33 services, carried out 1,229 interviews and accumulated more than 30,000 responses. The process won praise for encouraging engagement with staff at all levels, as well as key stakeholders, and has been described by those taking part as “supportive and non-confrontational”.
The information produced as a result of the Sustain Rapid Appraisal was put to good use by the NHS’s new commissioning bodies to help them understand the actions needed to meet the challenges of the call to action. > Read More

Refreshing the Sustain Rapid Appraisal

Date completed 01.04.2014

Number of sites: 13

Following the success of the initial programme, the Sustain Rapid Appraisal was adapted to evaluate the progress which 13 services in the East of England had made since their last appraisal.
We refreshed the programme in the late summer of 2013, taking account of changes to national policies, structures and commissioning responsibility. The headline dashboard and some of the areas of review were modified to take account of the general progress toward full implementation and the differing expectations and responsibilities of stakeholders.

One of the options offered by Sustain was to fully embed health visiting peer reviewers into their team and the appraisal process. Health Education East of England selected four health visitors to take part, who were given the necessary training in November 2013. > Read More


A specially designed appraisal has recently been launched to help maternity services respond to the Department of Health’s new Midwifery 2020 report, which sets the agenda for midwives to lead and deliver care. The appraisal will help services measure their progress in making the changes required to meet this vision, which include adapting the way midwives work, as well as their role, responsibilities, education and professional development.

Mental health

The Sustain Rapid Appraisal played a vital role in a review of mental health payment by results tariffs, and has also been used independently by commissioners to identify areas for further development. The project led to a greater system-wide understanding of the potential issues linked to the PbR process and its implications for the local health economy.

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