Information About POET For Health 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.

The national POET data set represents the experience of some 12,000 people who have had a personal budget, personal health budget and/or Education Health and Care plan (EHCP) 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.
POET infograph A4 Adults

In Control, Lancaster University and Think Local Act Personal published the findings of the third personal outcomes evaluation tool (POET ) of over 500 personal health budget holders and carers.

The purpose of the Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) survey 2015 for Personal Health Budget Holders and Family Carers is to provide insight into the experiences of personal health budget holders and their families. The survey also shows the impact having control over the budget has on their lives. Findings can be used by NHS and local authorities to assess the effectiveness of their delivery methods and to set priorities for improving the process.


  • Altogether 302 personal health budget holders from 31 different areas across the country and 247 carers from 37 different areas completed the survey.
  • In the sample of POET survey respondents, the most common way to use their budget was on care and support services (59.6%), followed by personal assistants (48.3%), community and leisure services (26.8%) and equipment (25.2%).
  • Over 80% of personal health budget holders reported their budget having a positive impact on their quality of life, independence and arranging support. Over 60% reported their budget having a positive impact on their relationships with people paid to support them, as well as a positive impact on their friendships, physical and mental health.
  • Over three quarters of carers said that having a personal health budget had improved day to day stress, quality of life of the carer, quality of life of the person, choice and control the carer has in life.
  • People most commonly managed their personal health budget through direct payments (36.7%), followed by direct payments looked after by a friend or family member (26.2%), service provider managed personal health budgets accounted for (13.1%), council or NHS-managed personal health budgets (11.1%) and personal health budgets managed by a broker (11.5%) were less common.

Read the national POET reports for people with a personal health budget here:

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about the tool and its use in health services, or would like to see an example of the surveys, then please get in touch with us at