Kay Beacham RegardA new method of capturing data on the delivery of commissioned and personal outcomes for people with learning disabilities or mental health needs is being rolled out nationally by a service provider after a successful trial.

Private residential services provider Regard has developed a method of data capture that is simpler in structure and quicker to use than previous methods. Personal Daily Outcomes (PDOs) comprise a new way of identifying and planning the delivery of commissioned and personal outcomes. Developed from existing best practice, PDOs are a person-centred planning/recording method that communicates the essence of each service user.

Regional director Kay Beacham (pictured) led the initial roll-out across Wales over the past 2 years, and is now heading up their introduction in Regard’s services in northwest England and will lead their implementation nationwide.  

“For each service user an initial template is meticulously completed, identifying their needs/wants, health, behaviour, personal care, skills teaching and development issues,” she explained. “It also captures details of approaches which are likely to work with them.

“A high degree of flexibility is maintained, but the planner gives reliable direction to staff and promotes continued appropriate and individual care regardless of who is delivering it.”

Areas of regulatory needs are identified, such as care for individuals with conditions like epilepsy: the PDO will highlight any training needs and include directions to ensure staff are aware of specific requirements.

On a daily basis, the PDOs make it easy to capture and cross-check information, record consistency or changes in an individual’s wants/needs and note progress. Documentation is easily collated and analysed, leading to adaptations of individual PDOs where independence increases.

The improved ease of access to vital information offered by PDOs benefits service users, support workers, service and locality managers and commissioners alike.

“The PDO’s ensure that each service user’s day is determined by their needs and wishes, their achievements are acknowledged, their independence and progress is evidenced to help achieve appropriate levels of funding,” Beacham said.

“Our support workers have clear direction, are aware of needs/risks and effective approaches on each shift and gain confidence and autonomy; our service managers ensure commissioned needs are planned and evidenced and can gather specific statistical evidence for use in reviews, and our locality managers can monitor the quality of support plans, gain an overview on service provision and assess resource management.”

With the sector increasingly focused on evidence of quality care delivery, Regard’s PDOs monitor commissioned outcomes, making for more meaningful discussions on appropriate hours of care.

The PDOs have received positive feedback from commissioners in Wales and from service users’ families, who noted increased engagement on home visits.