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Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool: June 2016 Update

In Control members have been busy using the Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) to collect the views and experiences of people who need support and those close to them. This has included 1,879 parents/carers of children and young people with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), 2,989 practitioners working with children and young people with EHCPs, 906 children and young people who have EHCPs themselves, as well as 2,254 adults who have a personal budget for their support. Details can be found here.

In total, the latest version of the POET has collected the experiences of over 8,000 people. Using this data we have provided our members with 85 local reports, and national reports will be published soon describing the data in detail.

Looking at the findings, some interesting messages are emerging…

Children and young people's POET - EHCPs

Key outcomes

Three quarters of children and young people said their support was good or very good in one of the six areas we asked about: dignity (74%). Around two thirds of children and young people said their support was good or very good in three areas we asked about: the level of support (66%), looking forward (65%) and being heard (64%).

Around a fifth of children and young people said the support they received was poor or very poor in the other two areas we asked about: information (21%) and choice about support (21%).

Looking more closely

There were few differences in experience or outcome according to gender.

Children and young people who completed the questions by themselves generally reported better experiences and outcomes.

Children and young people with physical disabilities generally reported getting a better deal, both in terms of their support and its impact on their life.

Children and young people with communication & interaction needs, and particularly children and young people with social, mental and emotional health needs, were on the whole slightly less positive.

As we have seen before across all the POET datasets, better experience of process was strongly associated with better outcomes.

Parents/carers of children and young people with EHCPs

Headline findings

Around two thirds of parents/carers who responded said that the support their child had received over the last year had been good or very good in helping their child with two of the seven areas we asked about: school and learning (68%) and relationships with family (65%).

Around a half said the support their child had received over the last 12 months had been good or very good in helping with three of the seven areas we asked about: quality of life (56%), being fit & healthy (53%), and enjoying friendships (44%).

Around a third of parents/carers said the support their child received had helped with the two remaining areas we asked about: preparing for the future (43%) and being part of their local community (34%).

Looking more closely

Parents of pre-school and primary school age children generally report slightly better experience than parents of secondary school age children and young people.

Parents where an SEN statement has been converted to an EHCP were less likely to report a positive impact of the EHCP on them as parents.

Parents said that any and all forms of support for their children and young people were also helpful for them as parents.

Importantly, parents said that having their views, and the views of their child or young person, fully included in the EHCP was really important in terms of outcomes for the children and young people, and for them as parents.

Practitioners' POET - EHCPs

Headline findings

Well over three quarters of practitioners (80%) who responded to the POET survey said that EHCPs had always or mostly helped them work in partnership with parents/carers.

Around three quarters said that EHCPs had always or mostly helped them in three other areas we asked about: understand the needs of children and young people (77%), providing individually tailored support (73%), and putting children and young people at the centre of planning (75%).

Roughly two thirds of practitioners said that EHCPs had helped always or mostly in two other areas we asked about: partnership with colleagues (65%) and providing clear information and advice to parents/carers (70%). Just over half of practitioners said that EHCPs had helped them always or mostly to provide timely response to the needs of children and young people (58%).

A significant minority (10% or more) of practitioners said that EHCPs had never or rarely helped them in two of the seven areas of work we asked about: providing a timely response to the needs of children and young people (17%) and working in partnership with your colleagues from other professions (10%).

Looking more closely

Practitioners working in mainstream education were on the whole slightly more positive about the EHCP process.

Practitioners in schools generally and special education professionals in particular were less positive about the impact of EHCPs on their relationships with other professionals.

Education specialists were more positive about the EHCP process, but not about the impact of EHCPs on children and young people.

As was the case with parents, practitioners working with primary school children were more likely to report positive EHCP processes (but not outcomes) for children and young people.

Practitioners working with secondary school and post-16 children and young people were less positive about both EHCP processes and the impact of EHCPs on children and young people's lives.

Practitioners working with children and young people with communication and interaction needs were more positive about both EHCP processes and some outcomes for children and young people. (Interestingly this was not the case for children and young people themselves.)

Practitioners working with children and young people with learning disabilities and/or physical disabilities were slightly less positive about EHCP processes, although there were few associations in terms of reported outcomes for children and young people.

Again, better EHCP processes was massively associated with better outcomes for children and young people according to practitioners.

Adult social care POET - personal budget holders

Headline findings

Over half (59%) of adults responding said they knew how much money was allocated to their personal budget.

Nearly two thirds (62%) said they could decide how the money in their personal budget was spent.

Over three quarters (77%) said they were given a copy of their support plan.

The vast majority (91%) of people said their views had been included when their support plan was written.

Just over two thirds (71%) reported the control they enjoyed over their support as good or very good.

Around a half (56%) reported the information and advice available as good or very good.

Just under three quarters of people (73%) said their support had made their quality of life better or a lot better.

Looking more closely

There were few differences according to gender or whether the person completed the questions themselves.

Older people reported mixed experiences of support, but were generally less positive about the impact of support on their lives.

People with learning disabilities tended to be more positive about their support and its impact on their life, while people with mental health needs were slightly less positive about their support (but not about its impact on their life). People with physical disabilities were slightly less positive about the impact of their support on them (but not about the support itself).

People who had a personal budget and knew the amount of it, and particularly could decide how it was spent, were generally more positive about both their support and the impact of that support on their lives.

People who hold their personal budget in the form of a direct payment were positive about their support and its impact on their lives, whereas people with council-managed personal budgets or who didn't know how their budget was managed were generally less positive.

People with budgets managed by a broker report a mixed experience in terms of both their support and its impact on their lives.

All aspects of a better personal budget planning processes were strongly associated with people saying they have better support that has a positive impact on their lives.

People with a personal assistant and support in the form of community/leisure activities were generally more positive about their support and its impact on their lives, whereas people getting home care were less positive about their support and its impact.

Looking ahead

We are working with members to embed the POET questions into everyday practice, so that people's experiences and the outcomes they achieve can be routinely recorded and can inform local accountability and service improvements.

Embedding the POET will mean local authorities can:

  • Use an updated and simplified question set focused on experience and key outcomes, providing an up-to-date quality framework.
  • Collect outcomes and experiences routinely about everyone they support as part of everyday practice for consistent application and widest possible coverage. (Both adults who need support and children with an EHCP.)
  • Store and access data on local IT systems for immediate access and reduced transaction cost.
  • Benefit from anonymous data reported nationally for national overview and benchmarking.

For more information about embedding the POET locally, please email poet@in-control.org.uk

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Last Updated : 08 June 2016. Page Author: Gaynor Cockayne.