Charities ‘crucial’ to widespread implementation of care and support planning

The knowledge, skills, experience and resources of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations are crucial to the widespread implementation of care and support planning suggests a new discussion paper from National Voices.

The report, What is the role of VCSE organisations in care and support planning?,  argues that charities have a vital role in supporting people to develop care and support plans, and in working with people with long-term conditions and their clinical teams to put the plans into practice.

The Care Act 2014 introduced a legal responsibility on all local authorities to provide care and support plans, and NHS England has stated that care and support planning should be the ‘default mode’.

However, latest data shows that the health and care system is far from achieving that ambition. The 2014/15 GP Patient survey found that only 6% of patients with a long-term condition reported that they have a written care plan.

What is the role of VCSE organisations in care and support planning? was developed in partnership with 13 charities as part of National Voices’ Wellbeing Our Way programme and argues that widespread care and support planning will only become a reality with the support of voluntary organisations.

Commenting on the new report, Natalie Koussa, Programme Lead for Wellbeing Our Way at National Voices, said:

There are some fantastic examples of charities supporting care and support planning across the country. We need to build on this good work to ensure that everyone living with a long term condition is able to develop a care and support plan in partnership with their health and care professionals.

‘There is strong evidence showing that care and support planning leads to improvements in physical and mental wellbeing, and enables some people to increase their self-management capability. It also improves people’s experience of care, increases the job satisfaction of health and care professionals and uses resources more efficiently.

Care and support planning gives people the power to identify support that lets them live in the ways that matter to them.

The report’s authors call on health and care commissioners to invest resources to develop care and support planning at scale; including developing local pathways which clearly articulate the contribution of VCSE organisations.

Benefits of care and support planning

Care and support planning is a joint process between a person with a long term condition and their health and social care professionals, plus other supporters.

The process aims to identify what is important to the person, agree what actions the person can take themselves, and to determine what support might be needed from others. Care and support plans often include community approaches to helping people live with long-term conditions, including self-management support, activity groups, befriending services, and one to one coaching.

What is the role of VCSE organisations in care and support planning? highlights evidence that care and support planning leads to improvements in physical and mental wellbeing, and that it enables some people to increase their self-management capability.

The authors also reference evidence showing that care and support planning improves people’s experience of care, as well as the job satisfaction of health and care professionals.

Crucially, care and support planning has been shown to lead to a more efficient and sustainable use of resources.

Good practice across the country

The report highlights a series of positive examples of VCSE organisations involved in care and support planning across the country.

People living with epilepsy can download My Epilepsy Care Plan from Epilepsy Action, a straightforward, patient held plan that explains the benefits of care and support planning and how to get started with health and care professionals.

In Rotherham, Voluntary Action Rotherham links people with long term health needs with sources of social, therapeutic and practical support in the voluntary and community sector.  Of those referred via the service, 82% reported a positive change in their wellbeing within four months.

In London, the Macmillan Social Prescribing Service works with the Bromley by Bow Centre to provide one-to-one support to people living with and beyond cancer to overcome practical issues and improve their wellbeing. The service is provided by experienced professionals who work with people affected by cancer to define what’s important to them, and to identify and link into local resources and activities.

Additional case study examples of VCSE organisations involved in care and support planning are available in the full report.

Downloads

Download What is the role of VCSE organisations in care and support planning?

Download National Voices’ Guide to Care and Support Planning

Contact

For further information and comment, please contact Andrew McCracken, Head of Communications at National Voices, on 020 3176 0737 or andrew.mccracken@nationalvoices.org.uk,

Contribute your own examples of good or promising practice, or experience of care and support planning by contacting natalie.koussa@nationalvoices.org.uk

#PlanForLife

Live twitter chat

National Voices will be leading a live twitter chat on the role of voluntary community and social enterprise organisations in care and support planning:

What have charities got to do with care and support planning?
Live twitter chat
Tuesday 8 March, 12–1pm (UK time)
#PlanForLife

Wellbeing Our Way

National Voices’ Wellbeing Our Way programme is about enabling people to manage their health in ways which matter to them. The programme brings together community and voluntary organisations to share innovative approaches for empowering people to manage their health and work towards their personal goals; make decisions about the care, support and treatment they receive; and engage with and shape health and care support.

Wellbeing our Way is supported by The Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.

If you are a VCSE organisation interested in becoming involved in Wellbeing Our Way, please contact natalie.koussa@nationalvoices.org.uk.

Find out more about Wellbeing Our Way.

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