Regard, the fourth biggest private provider of residential services in the UK for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and ABI, has developed and pioneered a method of data capture which is simpler in structure and quicker to use than previous methods, and simultaneously enriches the clients’ experience.
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 an entirely person-centred planning/recording method which successfully communicates the essence of each service user.
Regional director Kay Beacham has led the initial roll-out across Wales over the past two years, is heading up their current introduction in Regard’s services in north-west England and will lead their implementation nationwide.
Kay Beacham said: “For each service user an initial template is meticulously completed, identifying their needs/wants, health, behaviour, personal care, skills teaching and development issues. 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 is of benefit to service users, support workers, service and locality managers and commissioners alike.
Kay said: “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.”
“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.”
Very importantly, with the sector increasingly focussed on evidence of quality care delivery, Regard’s PDOs clearly monitor commissioned outcomes, making for more meaningful discussions on appropriate hours of care.
There have been glowing reports from commissioners in Wales – where the project was piloted – as well as positive feedback from service users’ families (noting increased engagement on home visits). CQC and commissioning team input are being actively sought as the PDOs are rolled out.
Kay Beacham’s strategy as the programme is rolled out nationwide is to encourage managers to test the flexibility of templates, drafting them for their most complex service users.
Kay then supports seniors to cascade the ‘why and how’ to their teams, emphasising the values of the planning tool. Follow-up support is provided through regular meetings, phone support and buddying. The aim is to ensure all staff understand how to get the most out of this tool on behalf of Regard’s clients.