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St Matthews Healthcare treats everyone at our homes as individuals with their own needs. Part of striving to give everyone what they need is ensuring the each person has a care plan, which sets out how we will meet their needs for care and support. Understanding the purpose of a care plan and how it is created is useful for anyone involved in the care of someone who needs one.

What Is a Care Plan?

A care plan can also be called a support plan or a care and support plan. It sets out a few different things, including the needs of the person and how they are going to be addressed. A care plan has information for both the carer and the person needing care, with the person needing care being involved in the creation of the plan as much as possible. A care plan helps to keep care consistent, no matter which particular carers are providing it. It also helps to ensure that the care given is recorded so that there is evidence of who provided which care services. However, the care plan itself isn’t a record of the care that the person receives.

A care plan covers needs in a variety of areas, from nutritional needs and personal hygiene to sleep and mobility. Care plans are largely used for people with long-term conditions and helps to set out plans for future care. A care plan is set out using a number of different sections, which include problems, needs, goals, and activities. The problems are the patient’s medical issues and the needs are the specific issues that might need to be managed. The goals set out the aims for the future, while the activities specify how those goals might be met. It’s important for a care plan to have enough detail without being too complicated.

The Patient and Their Care Plan

A care plan is always created with the involvement of the patient where possible. The patient should also be consulted when changes are made to the plan. Patients or their carers should always have access to their care plans too and they need to be able to understand what it says and means. A care plan is as much for the patient as it is for the people caring for them. You can sign your care plan to give your approval, which you don’t have to do until you’re happy with it.

Reviewing Care Plans

A care plan isn’t a static plan that’s set in stone once it has been written. It can be reviewed and changed and, in fact, should be reviewed at least once a year. Reviewing a care plan determines whether the goals in the care plan are being met and, if they’re not, what could be changed to make sure they are. It’s also an opportunity to check if these objectives are still suitable and if the patient’s needs have changed.

Care plans help the staff at St Matthews Healthcare’s homes provide for the needs of our residents. Understanding them is useful if you’re someone who needs care or if you help to support someone who does.

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