Individual Outcomes - Getting Back to What Matters

Policy & Practice in Health and Social Care No. 14

By Emma Miller

There is an increasing emphasis on the outcomes of public services in the UK. While the considerable improvement potential of the approach is emerging, it is also apparent that there are different understandings and interpretations of outcomes at play in both policy and practice terms. There is also a significant challenge at all levels in the system in making the shift from focusing on 'outputs' to 'outcomes.' This book locates the new focus on outcomes in UK community care in its recent policy context, and it considers key barriers to implementation. It explores the understandings of outcomes from the perspectives of service stakeholders, ranging from service users and care providers to policy-makers, and it emphasizes the need for a common perspective. Two core outcomes paradigms are currently at play - the improving and the proving agendas. The improving agenda involves putting the person at the center, with a change management agenda which focuses on culture, practice, and flexible approaches to communication. The proving agenda - more consistent with managerialism - centers on evaluating and evidencing improvement, leaning towards measurement and standardization, and has a focus on tools. It is essential to strike the right balance between these approaches. The book concludes positively on the progress and potential of outcomes, while sounding a cautionary note about the need for the improvement agenda to remain paramount. Individual Outcomes will be of interest to health and social work students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as policy makers, managers, and practitioners in community care. (Series: Policy & Practice in Health and Social Care - No. 14)

134 pages

Publication Date: 1/1/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781906716301