A care plan is a detailed document created for a person who is receiving healthcare, personal care, or other forms of support.
If you or your loved one plan to receive health or social support you will need to have a care plan in place. This guide explains what is a care plan, its purpose and benefits, what a care plan should include and how you can arrange to get a care plan for yourself or a loved one.
What is a care plan?
Before a person receives health or social support, such as the home care provided by Trinity Homecare, the individual will undergo a care needs assessment.
The purpose of the care needs assessment is to find out how an individual manages everyday tasks, like washing, dressing and cooking and identify areas where the person requires support.
From this assessment, a personalised care plan is created. A care plan is unique to the individual and sets out the kind of social care that would meet the person’s care needs. For example, it may make recommendations such as:
- Equipment like a walking frame or personal alarm
- Changes to the home such as a walk-in shower
- Practical help from a paid carer
A care plan outlines:
- A person’s care needs
- The services or devices they will receive to meet those needs
- Who will provide the services and when
What does a care plan include?
The care plan is a detailed document that describes why a person is receiving care (their assessed health or care needs), their medical history, personal details, expected and aimed outcomes, and of course what care and support will be delivered to them, how, when and by whom. This ensures the standardisation of high-quality, evidence-based care and is used as a reference by all the health care professionals involved.
The care plan is regularly reviewed and if a person’s care needs change a new care needs assessment will take place to review the person’s abilities and needs so the care plan can be updated.
A care plan should include:
- The preferences and wishes of the individual
- Any cultural and religious context that may influence how they receive care
- Medical history including current medications and treatments
- What they can do for themselves
- What equipment or care is needed
- What friends and family who are involved in care think
- Details of family members that need to be kept updated
- Who to contact if there are questions about the care
- The individual’s personal budget and direct payments (this is the weekly amount the council may contribute towards care) and costs of the service
- What care is available from the person’s local council
- How and when care will happen
- Risk management – to ensure the individual’s care is as safe as possible
- Detailed records of care provided
- Acknowledgement of any differences and disagreements
If there is a family member involved in a person’s care it will also include:
- Respite care options so the carer can take a break
- Details of local support groups
- Training, such as how to lift safely
Why is a care plan important?
A care plan is a very important document in social and health care. Not only does it detail the individual’s goals, and the aims and structure for their care, but it also helps promote independence, allowing individuals to retain as much control as possible over their life and continue to do the things they enjoy.
Care plans are essential to ensure that the individual receiving care consistently receives the right level of care and that their requirements and personal preferences are known by any health professionals in charge of their care. For example, a carer visiting the home to provide care should know the person’s exact requirements and health status.
Another benefit of care plans is that they help the person receiving care, and their loved ones, to better understand their care needs, health conditions and how loved ones can offer additional support with day-to-day tasks.
What are the benefits of a care plan?
One of the biggest benefits of a care plan is that it gives the individual more control over the care they receive. Being involved in the care planning process allows the person and their care team to implement support around the things that matter most to the individual receiving care.
For example, if a person values companionship, the care team will find the best way to support them in social activities or recommend championship home care for those who are unable to get out and about on their own. The care plan acts as a guide to help people receive care to live the life they want to live.
There are other benefits and advantages to care plans also:
- The comprehensive document prepares those involved in delivering care to provide consistent care and maintain a high quality of care over the long term.
- A care plan outlines how to navigate situations – it could relate to daily plans but can also include emergency procedures and medical issues. This also helps carers prepare for challenging situations before they arise and ensures all carers have the relevant training and experience needed for the person’s individual needs.
- The care plan helps to identify potential upcoming risks – having a clear assessment of risks reduces the probability of them occurring and alerts carers in advance.
- A client’s care plan is personalised – no matter the situation, the goal of creating a plan is to ensure that a client’s needs are met to their standards and wishes.
The care planning process
To create a care plan the following assessments are carried out:
1. Care needs assessment – focusing on care needs
2. Risk assessment – to identify and plan for possible risks and hazards
3. Financial needs assessment – to identify if the individual can pay for their care or whether they require local council funding
What is a good care plan?
A good care plan will typically have the following characteristics:
- Well-structured/organised and clear
- Can be fully understood by both service users and care professionals
- Is person-centred
- Is ‘owned’ by the person receiving care
- Regularly reviewed and updated
- Flexible to the individual needs and preferences of the person
- Responsive to changing needs, circumstances and preferences
- Help the person receiving care to maintain independence so far as possible, and/or progress towards agreed outcomes
- Secure (the care plan will contain sensitive information)
- Easily accessible to relevant stakeholders
- Has a single, latest ‘master’ version used by all stakeholders
What to do if you are not happy with your care plan
If you disagree with your care plan or how the care needs assessment or related processes have been carried out you have the right to complain.
If you are unhappy with your care plan get in touch with the adult social services department of your local council. Your council should have a formal complaints procedure, usually available on their website. You should also be made aware of the complaints procedure during your care needs assessment.
If you are unhappy with the way your local council handles your complaint, you can take the issue to the local government and social care ombudsman. An ombudsman is an independent person who is appointed to investigate complaints about an organisation.
How can I arrange a care plan?
There are several ways that a care plan can be created.
The possible options are:
1.) A self-made care plan
2.) A care plan created by your local council
3.) A care plan created by a home care provider
While it is possible to write your own care plan, it is not usually advised unless the person and their loved ones have experience with social care planning. It is a detailed and extensive document and contains many recommendations from professionals such as Occupational Therapists. Their advice and involvement are invaluable so it is always worth seeking their involvement.
Your local council can undertake a care needs assessment and create your care plan. Home care providers are also able to carry out this work. The care needs assessment and care plan is a free service in both cases. Just because you have a care needs assessment and care plan created by a home care agency it does not mean you are obligated to receive care from them.
If you are thinking about home care for yourself or a loved one consider getting a care needs assessment and care plan from a home care agency such as Trinity Homecare. We can provide a care needs assessment quickly, create your personalised care plan and implement care swiftly and efficiently.
To arrange a care assessment with Trinity Homecare simply call our friendly team and they will arrange a prompt and efficient assessment for a day and time that suits you. After the assessment, they will create your personalised care plan that you will keep in your home.
Why Choose Trinity
At Trinity Homecare we have been providing high-quality home care, and care plans, for over 25 years. We have recently been awarded the highest rating of ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. This shows our level of service and commitment to our clients.
We provide a wide range of home care services such as visiting care, live-in care, 24-hour care and many other types to suit individual needs. If you would like to know more about our services or arrange a care needs assessment and care plan, get in touch with us today.