For those who have a long-term condition, illnesses or disability, a care plan is an agreement between you and a healthcare provider that details and helps manage your day-to-day health. Anyone who has a long-term condition is eligible to make a care plan and for children, who have special needs, the parents can write up the care plan detailing what care they need and how it will be provided.
A care plan can be discussed with either a GP or healthcare provider, with you being fully involved, and should consist of the following:
Anything that the you (or parent) want to achieve through the care given. This can be anything from getting back to being independent, returning to work or starting a hobby. You should mention things that are important to you and that can help you on the road to recovery.
What services you will need to achieve your goals will be discussed. This will also cover who will provide these services and who is in charge of implementing and requesting the services. Whoever is put in charge needs to ensure that the service will agree to providing the care needed. It will also be discussed where you will be getting the services from. Will they be from the local authority, what are the charges and will you be given a budget so you can choose your own?
Unexpected things happen and a care plan can help you determine what to do in an emergency and what risk assessments including actions that will be taken to manage risks.
Who will be in charge
For those who are unable to manage their own care plan, a person will be named who will be able to monitor, implement and review the care plan. If it is a plan for a child, the responsibility will lie with the parent.
A care plan is also an effective tool for you to talk about what is worrying you or causing you to be anxious. Some patients, alongside setting their goals and their needs, use it to talk about how lonely or anxious they feel. You might want to include an eating and exercise plan as well as what medicines you take. This is all information that can help a carer or healthcare professional understand your needs.
The information you provide on your care plan will also be private, no one will see what is on it other than the people you designate as healthcare supporters, but you can add people to it when needed. A care plan will be looked at over fixed time, and these can be done at your request. This is when you review the plan to see if there are any amendments to be made.
A care plan should contain information that is important for you, to maintain a good quality of life. You need to make sure that you are happy with the decisions made, but you can also go back and change them if you feel that they are not beneficial for you.
By Harry Price
Harry Price is a talented young writer who lives in a small costal town with his wife and 3 dogs.