In the summer of 2011 the CHFG undertook a limited but focused piece of work with the aim of assessing involvement within the CHFG network and exploring perceptions of our impact.

This included a review of our web and e-marketing analytics, the supporter database and a short on–line survey which generated a 35% response rate (against an industry norm of 20%).

Who are we reaching?

We appear to be reaching a wide range of professional groups internationally although the largest single professional group (and respondents to our survey) appear to have medical backgrounds.

Whilst we attract visitors from more than 68 countries worldwide, the majority are UK-based.  The largest group of respondents in our survey work in acute or secondary care settings within the NHS in England and there was a slight London/South bias in the main survey; however, other research work, seminar attendance and our web activity shows a relatively even spread of involvement across UK regions.

On-line activity as well as the response to our face-to-face events shows a very willing and engaged “audience” with useful stories, energy, ideas, practical experience and skills to share.  More than 50% of the survey respondents offered to take part in follow up interviews and provided “additional comments” as part of their survey response.

Our survey demonstrated a good response from people who are quite new to the CHFG network, with 44% of respondents having been connected for less than a year.

The active on-line subscriber base has grown by more than 100% in a year and web traffic shows 22,000 visitors (15,000 absolute unique) to the website in the same period.  68% of these visitors are new and almost 50% come directly to the URL.  The other half are split equally between search engines and referring sites of which there were more than 300.

What the survey tells us about impact

The importance of our on-line channel is clear.  Our regular e-communications and the value of the website were emphasised.  A considerable number of people now make their first connection with CHFG on-line.

The value of the CHFG as an “independent campaigning voice” with a strong “convening” role was also very clear.

Supporters feel that CHFG has had a strong impact on levels of awareness regarding human factors in healthcare and on personal practice, but our impact at policy or organisational level is perceived to be limited.

Martin Bromiley’s personal role and story is still very important in terms of the identity and connection to CHFG identity and message.

Our Manifesto aims are known by many (47% in this survey) but clearly effort needs to be made to continually re-emphasise these as the majority in this survey said they “don’t know” or were “not sure” of the aims.

Summary

For a small charity with very limited infrastructure and resources, the CHFG network appear to create a significant impact.

The combination of an improved and active on-line presence, the success of the “Open Seminar” series and the work to establish the DH Human Factors Reference Group are all important steps forward.

The recently expansion and development of the Board of Trustees and changes in membership of the Standing Group are also important developments in terms of leadership and governance.

The 2011-13 strategy and fund-raising plan provides a platform for future development.