Evidence use as socio-material practice A qualitative study of decision-making on introducing service innovations in health care

Funded by

The Health Foundation Logo

30 March 2021

Published journal: Public Management Review


A policy aspiration is that evidence should inform decision-making on introducing health service innovations. Internationally, innovation adoption has historically been slow and patchy. Three innovations in the English and Scottish National Health Service were analysed qualitatively: stroke service reconfiguration; revised national guidance on cancer referral; and ‘virtual’ glaucoma outpatient clinics. The authors identify three socio-material mechanisms through which evidence and context shape each other in decision-making: connecting, ordering, resisting. Shared preferences for research evidence enabled the medical profession to exert influence on decision-making, while other professions used alternative evidence. Implications for promoting inclusive public management around service innovations are discussed.


Simon Turner, Danielle D´Lima, Jessica Sheringham, Nick Swart, Emma Hudson, Stephen Morris & Naomi J. Fulop (2021) Evidence use as sociomaterial practice? A qualitative study of decision-making on introducing service innovations in health care, Public Management Review.

You might also like...


Webinar: Levelling up health – a national strategy driven by local government


A panel discussion exploring the role of local government in levelling up health and how national...


Party conference schedule


The Health Foundation will be holding multiple fringe events and partnering with other organisations...

Press release

Universal Credit cut will hit areas with the worst health hardest

Press release

Health Foundation response to the end of the £20 universal credit uplift.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Being closer than Whitehall to the communities they serve, local government should be put at the centre of driving… https://t.co/AofSLgwOei

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more