A quick guide to care planning for ministers

In the BBC news I read with an ironic smile how the (social) care plan was just ‘papering over the cracks’ and  that ‘the care plan did not go far enough’ Clearly others people can see this so why can’t our government ministers?

In reporting feedback the website states ‘Richard Humphries, of the King’s Fund think-tank, said “the government has failed to produce a clear plan”.’

So maybe they need a little support in basic care planning from those of us who are thinking about it all of the time, although I admit that it would be a novel idea for those who are living and breathing care plans, either in development or receipt, should be consulted never mind involved (for  proof see Care Quality Commission reports). 

Assessment of need is usually the first step – what do people need to help them remain as independent as possible in their own homes. Well some specific  ‘support in the home’ would not go amiss but  with enough time to actually talk to the person to find out how they are coping, what  extra help they need and how they are going to access it. Some measurement might help too so that a baseline and outcome can be identified e.g.  help with maintaining the home, 3 meals a day, adequate sleep, medication, exercise and money to maybe take in a social event or two?

Plan– this is where clear targets or goals can be laid down that are achievable and yet still measurable. So say people had enough money  (in the form of direct payments/ benefits etc) to get the help they need (without selling their house/ goods), we would also need to be able to measure that it is in fact working – the true test of any  good care plan. If people are having to pay for their own care needs then they are no longer being supported by the NHS?

Intervention – identifying the roles, responsibilities and strengths of all who are involved including the people in receipt of the care plan ensures that the plan can indeed be  met  realistically and leaves no room for confusion or failure – but if it does fail we know who is responsible  and can change that part of the plan quickly.

Evaluation – the responsibility of at least one of the people organising the care plan  that is timely and responsive to change where necessary to prevent relapse ( not necessary failure)  or to increase/decrease support when needed.

Of course those of us in the know;-) know that a good care plan is a SMART one – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. It would be interesting and indeed very helpful if  ministers could try applying this to some of the plethora of policies that staff are expected to implement in practice.

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2 thoughts on “A quick guide to care planning for ministers

  1. Much as I like the above suggestions, I’d like to add another dimension to care planning:

    Every care planning stage must be HOT.

    HOT = Honest Open Transparent.

    I’m working my way still (yes, it’s taken me 5 years thus far) through the tissue of COLD care planning. (I chose the word ’tissue’ rather than flimsy.)

    COLD = careless + obstructive + lethal + dishonest. But not necessarily in that order.

    If only everyone involved could/would listen and could/would tell the truth, at each and every stage. That would be a great step forward.

  2. Very true careintheuk, honesty is something that is often missing from a care plan and is the main reason that it could fail. I think the word realistic is very important though and does represent some honesty even if it means we have to identify what will not work for someone as well as what will.

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