Outcome measurement is becoming an integral part of health-care delivery. The attitudes of staff towards this development are important as they may influence ratings themselves, improve the design of measures and indicate how outcome assessment should be introduced into services. In this preliminary study, we surveyed staff from Central Sydney Mental Health Services who had taken part in a Commonwealth-funded project which had required them to rate patient outcome. The major concern expressed by respondents was that rating outcome was too time-consuming. More than half were not in favor of measuring outcome routinely even if it meant providing a better service to patients. The study methodology had limitations. However, if our findings are corroborated, attention will need to be paid to staff attitudes to outcome assessment so that ratings are more reliable and valid, properly inform treatment and meaningfully influence resource allocation.