SPARC (Stockport Progress and Recovery Centre) were looking at ways in which they could work in a more outcome focussed manner. SPARC had been asked to participate in a pilot project looking at ways in which the NHS could commission outcomes.

Lynn, SPARC’s center manager, was really concerned that some of their Service Users had severe mental health needs and were being asked to work towards gaining employment, which was extremely unrealistic.

“Most people coming here find that it is all they can do to get out of their home, even the thought of using public transport is too extreme. We take them in small steps towards their goal, i.e. meet them at their door; help them get into a taxi; then on a bus; and eventually they manage to do this on their own, but this can take a very long time. For some, just getting them through the doors at SPARC is a huge achievement.”

Karen understood that what Lynn was talking about were outcomes, but she also knew that recording this would be a mammoth task. Service outcomes can represent very small steps but methods of capturing that data need to represent an efficient use of worker’s time, otherwise staff become demotivated, feeling like they spend more of their time in front of a computer than they do actually working with the people they most want to help.

First things first, SPARC needed to define what it was that their service was actually doing, and who they were doing it with. Outcomes could then be associated at a later stage, by associating outcomes both with activities and Service Users, allowing automatic population of data reports necessary for funders. What Gravitas Outcome Services CIC managed to do, was simplify the process of recording outcomes.

These are still the principals by which Gravitas Outcome Services CIC work by to this day when starting a journey with an organization towards reporting on outcomes.

This comprehensive process is now available to all community organisations that wish to progress to an ‘outcome focused’ way of working. It’s not just about implementing software, it’s about understanding the subtle process of change, and helping services to fit what they do into a system of recording. The team truly relish the opportunity to help you on that journey.