Information About POET For Adult Services

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, then in health and it is now widely used 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 12,000 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.

See a summary of the key findings here

We have published our Third National Personal Budget Survey with Lancaster University and Think Local Act Personal sharing the experiences of more than 4,300 people with personal budgets and their carers.

The report, focuses on the use of personal budgets in adult social services and health across England and is the largest survey to date looking at the impact that personal budgets are having on people's lives.

  • More than 80 per cent of people surveyed said that a personal budget had made things better or a lot better when it came to dignity in support and quality of life.
  • At least two thirds also said their personal budget had made things better or a lot better when it came to independence, arranging support, mental health, control over their life, feeling safe, relationships with family and people paid to support them, friendships and self-esteem.
  • More than two thirds of carers also said that as a result of the person they care for having a personal budget things had got better or a lot better when it came to remaining well and being able to continue caring as well as quality of life for them and the person being cared for.

The report is based on the Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) which has been developed by In Control and Lancaster University over the past 10 years as a way to measure what's working and what's not when it comes to personal budgets and personalised care and support. It was originally for use in adult social care but has now been developed for use in health, children's services and education. In total, more than 8,000 people across health, adult social care, and children's services have shared their experiences to date using POET. A version for providers is also in development.


Find out more about the POET for local authorities and regional areas and taking part here.

Read the National Personal Budget Survey reports

We are currently working with a small number of local authorities as part 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

If you would like to find out more information about the POET and embedding the tool into your current monitoring systems see our POET embedding page and please get in touch with us at or call 01564 821 650