POET for adult social care

Over the past 10 years In Control, together with the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University, have been developing the Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) to measure the outcomes of personal budgets and personalised care and support, and the impact they are having on people's lives. POET was initially developed for use in adult social care, and then in health. It is has also been piloted in children's services.

Used as the basis of " The National Personal Budget Surveys; published by TLAP", and to measure the impact of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for children, it is an effective tool for self aware local authorities to use as part of their sector led improvement. The POET is also often used in conjunction with Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) "Making it Real" markers of progress to understand, present and improve performance locally.

The national POET data set represents the experience of some 8000 people who have had a personal budget and/or EHC plan and it provides a wealth of intelligence, allowing us to understand the conditions local authorities need to create to better achieve cost effective outcomes, both for people who need support and their carers. The data set also allows local authorities to benchmark their own findings against a national baseline.

The POET has recently been revised and updated so that it is:

  • Simple and outcome focussed: allowing local authorities to easily demonstrate the difference their intervention has made.
  • Care act compliant: The POET captures outcomes aligned to 'wellbeing' and 'eligibility domains' and is part of a standard Care Act Compliant Review Tool, it is suitable for a wide range of interventions not just personal budgets including Reablement and short term support.
  • Integrated: works across social care and health, child to adult; across all silos and conditions.

We are currently working with a small number of local authorities as part of phase iii of our work, POET: 'Embedding outcomes'.

The work involves:

  • Embedding outcomes into practice: Using a model set of practice tools for; assessment/eligibility and allocation decisions, support planning and review, (the review tool features the POET) that are outcome focussed and Care Act compliant. Participating Authorities  have access to but are not be required to use all of these tools.
  • Commissioning: Help with embedding the POET into local performance monitoring systems so that commissioning practice is routinely informed by the POET findings.
  • A citizen view: Help with working with citizens locally, to support the development of an independent citizen led quality assurance process based on the POET to compliment your own internal POET findings.
  • IT solutions: Support participating Local Authorities to use their local Information technology to capture and report the POET data locally and how to share anonymised information from the use of the POET, for national benchmarking.
  • Improvement support through benchmarking: Provision of local, regional and national benchmarking data for comparison of findings. Supporting participating Local Authorities to develop an action plan to address areas of challenge.

Participating Local Authorities are committed  to:

  • The work as described above by identifying a Senior management lead who oversees the local authorities involvement.
  • Undertake to share anonymised outcome data for the national poet data set

As part of our charitable status, we are able to provide this package of support to an initial number of local authorities who are able to demonstrate their full commitment to embedding outcomes into their day to day work, preference will be given to members of In Control and to local authorities who want to adopt the approach across adult and children.

If you would like to find out more information about our phase iii work of the POET and embedding the tool into your current monitoring systems  please get in touch with us at

Last Updated : 06 March 2019. Page Author: Gaynor Cockayne.