Outcomes – measuring success
Health outcomes are about understanding the impact that health services have on the people who use them. Forward Thinking Birmingham wants to make sure that we achieve the best possible outcomes for you and your family. We want to know whether the services we provide are helping to improve your mental health, how satisfied you are with the care provided and also whether we are making the best use of public money.
There are a number of national outcome measures that are recommended for use across a wide range of mental health conditions and a number of ways in which we can measure outcomes. One of the nationally recommended outcomes measures is the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The SDQ is a behavioural screening questionnaire for completion by individuals. You may wish to try the tool yourself – it can be accessed here: http://www.sdqscore.org/
Measuring outcomes of treatment helps clinicians to evaluate change over the course of treatment. Outcomes can also help you or your child to understand the impact that treatment has over time and gives you or your child an opportunity to tell us whether you are satisfied with the care received. One way that we measure the impact of treatment is by asking you to complete an ‘outcome form’ at the beginning of your treatment. This helps us to understand how best to meet you or your child’s needs and will provide a record of how you or your child is feeling right at the very beginning of your journey with us. The form will be looked at again during and at the end of your treatment to help you and your care co-ordinator assess progress made.
To help us understand whether you were satisfied with the care provided we may ask you to complete a questionnaire or survey. An example of this is the NHS Friends and Family Test which is a quick and anonymous way for you to let us know what you thought of the services provided.
By measuring outcomes at a service level we can also identify areas where we need to improve and evaluate whether we are meeting our targets and delivering what we set out to achieve ‘…. revolutionise mental health services for generations to come’.