Outcomes Based Practice – Underpinning Theories and Principles

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Outcomes Based Practice – Underpinning Theories and Principles Introduction
If the emphasis that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has placed on the importance of outcomes is anything to go by, providers of care and support services in today’s care environment may imperil themselves if they do not work to achieve and demonstrate desirable outcomes with and for the people they support in whatever capacity. This much is evident in the way that the CQC in its publication (Guidance about compliance - Essential Standards of Quality and Safety, 2010) highlights what the expected outcomes are to be and then identifies the specific regulations that would lead to meeting the outcome. It is very clear that outcomes are very important. What is perhaps not so clear is determining what outcomes are. Many professionals especially frontline staff who deliver the specific intervention that is supposed to demonstrate the achievement of desired outcomes do not appear to clear as to what this sometimes nebulous term requires of them. Although many careworkers do regularly deliver support that is geared towards achieving outcomes, and although they witness regularly the outcomes of their input into the lives of the people they support, ask the average careworker to demonstrate the outcomes they have helped a person achieve, and they seem to think that they are expected to produce a thesis on the subject, searching for ‘professional’ sounding words and phrases in the attempt. A succinct definition of the term is essential to demystify these expected ‘outcomes’, so that care professionals are clear about what it is that they do and how those things that they do, if they do them well, inevitably result in an outcome. There are myriad definitions of the word, ‘outcomes’, out of which I have picked the one Alan Barr gives in his paper to the Scottish Development Alliance Conference (3 June 2005). Barr defines outcomes as: ‘...the specification of the differences that are intended...
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