Person-centred reviews – outcomes can be flexible

28 April 2015

A blog by Emily McArdle about how, as long as we are focusing on the wishes and aspirations of people, outcomes can be achieved - even if those outcomes don't look like they did at the end of the review process.

A few weeks ago we had a discussion at a person-centred reviews course about whether there should be a ‘cool-off’ period for outcomes. What if you thought of something you wanted to adapt and change after the review? I was able to share a personal story about exactly this issue.

My daughter Mel, aged 16 has recently had a transfer review to move her from statement to education health and care plan. We had a great review and Mel was amazing. She has language difficulties and a stammer and  thinking and talking ‘on the spot’ is difficult for her ,so before the meeting she had made notes on her aspirations, what’s working and not working for her at the moment and things she felt needed updating on her one-page profile.


Mel works as a volunteer every weekend at a local greyhound rescue and is keen to work as a paid kennel maid in the future. The outcome of her review was that she would pursue an animal care course at the local college with extra support especially around the pastoral side and logistics of getting herself there. The paperwork was written up swiftly and sent to the local authority and Mel completed an application form for college.

Mel and I were talking about a week later when she told me there was a sixth form information evening at school. She told me she wanted to stay at school with her friends and was sad that they didn’t do her course there. She said in her perfect world she would be able to stay at school and do her Animal Care BTec with the teaching assistants that she knows to support her. She’s well aware that she needs to continue with core English and Maths skills and said she wanted to do this at school where she has gained so much confidence.  We went along to the information session and made an appointment to meet with the Headteacher, head of sixth form and Special Needs Coordinator to have a chat about what was possible.

The result of that meeting was that school were keenly in support of Mel’s aspirations and what’s important to her. The Headteacher suggested that they attend her interview at college the following week to support her to explore a shared provision for sixth form. Mel has been offered a place at sixth form and at college and the logistics are being sorted this week. She is delighted!

As far as Mel’s outcomes go, they stayed the same, being based on her aspirations and what’s important to and for her but the action plan to help her get there has changed.  My experience really brought home to me that if you have the right outcomes, based on good quality information and checked against the questions ‘What would that give you?  ‘What would that do for you? ‘What would that make possible for you?’ then these will be robust enough to remain useful for at least a year.  For more information on the 8 steps towards outcomes, we have a graphic that you can download here. Actions towards those outcomes should be reviewed and changed as often as needed and having that ‘cool off ‘period for them makes sense.

If you would like to know more about Emily McArdle, have a look at her one-page profile.

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