According to a number of sources, including NICE and Department of Health, people should be involved in planning their care; care plans should be developed jointly and people should be given a copy of their care plan. The care plan should be reviewed at an appropriate time (but no less than annually). The care coordinator or lead professional writes up the agreed care plan (the individual can write it if they want to) and this sits on the electronic patient record called PARIS in Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust. The clinician then prints this out to share with the service user for accuracy and then shares with the agreed people, including the service user as a final record.
Should we develop the care plan with the individual? Short answer is yes. Involving the person adds to the sense of empowerment and self determination; is respectful; increases the likelihood of engagement with the plan and therefore improves health outcomes; contributes to the therapeutic relationship and works towards the person’s recovery and wellbeing on their terms. #whywedontengage emerged via Twitter recently; click here to read what people using services said about why they don’t engage – it’s (brutally) honest and not censored by services.
So who does the care plan actually belong to? My answer would be that it belongs to the individual concerned yet responses from the National Service User Survey and local audits suggest that people are not always being given a copy of their care plan and therefore the owner of the care plan becomes PARIS.
If the care coordinator or lead professional has worked collaboratively with the individual to negotiate and agree the plan of care – the goals, who is going to do what and when, then does it matter if the person has a copy of this written down in a care plan or not? As a pedant, I would say that yes, it matters – why go to the trouble of working closely with someone to then not bother capturing it in a personalised care plan. Professionally, clinical staff have to write a care plan anyway so it may as well be done in a way to reflect the involvement that the individual had in agreeing the plan. I would also add that the care plan should be presented in the format that the person prefers, taking into account their communication requirements. You might consider different font size, paper colour, audio tape, language, Braille etc – all depending upon the need of the person. Click here for information leaflets and more about Care Programme Approach.
I have had my say about the questions posed but what is your view? Post on the blog or email firstname.lastname@example.org