Meaningful and Measurable: Personal outcomes in health and social care

Published in Features on 13 Oct 2016

Meaningful and Measurable, a collaborative action research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) brought together three academic organisations, eight practice partners and four national stakeholder organisations (across Scotland and Wales) with a shared interest: adopting a focus on personal outcomes in health, social care and other human services.

Developing approaches to the recording, analysis and use of personal outcomes data has posed challenges at all levels of organisations. The project has explored the tension between:

  • Meaning: the need for detailed, contextualised information on individual experience to inform individual planning and service improvement.
  • Measurement: the need to aggregate information on personal outcomes to inform decision making at organisational and national levels.

New evidence has emerged from the project about the difference made from focusing on personal outcomes in diverse services. The evidence also highlights critical elements of outcomes-focused conversations, recording practices, outcomes measurement and use of outcomes information. 

A new learning resource (with additional summary and one page versions), is now available on the iHub. It includes:  

  • A detailed account of the interplay between outcomes-focused conversations, relationships, and the personal identity and wellbeing of people with complex and changing conditions
  • Five simple criteria to make recording of personal outcomes easier
  • Caveats surrounding the use of outcome metrics
  • Illustrations of various uses of outcomes information by partners for service and organisational improvements

View the learning resource

Further information about embedding personal outcomes.

Contact: Emma Miller:; Karen Barrie:; or Chris Bruce: