Care and support planning

What is 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.

Download the first edition of WOW Now (Wellbeing Our Way's e-newsletter) for individual and organisational experiences of care and support planning, and for a list of useful resources.

Why is it important?

There is evidence that care and support planning leads to:

  • Improvements in physical and mental wellbeing
  • Better experiences of care
  • Increased job satisfaction for health and care professionals
  • More efficient and sustainable use of resources

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 July 2016 GP Patient survey found that only 3.2% of patients reported that they have a written care plan, despite nearly 30% of people in England living with one or more long-term conditions.

George Rook and Lynne Craven blogged for us about what care planning, and being in control of their support, means to them.

The role of the VCSE sector

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.

Read Wellbeing Our Way's discussion paper, What is the role of VCSE organisations in care and support planning? to find out about the vital role charities play 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. You can also see the #PlanForLife Storify for more thoughts on charities' involvement in care and support planning.

Where it's already working

Compassion in Dying's Usha Grieve wrote a blog explaining the importance of planning ahead at the end of life. In the blog she describes how they used online tools, information, outreach and training in their My Life, My Decision project to promote the use of advance care planning via an Advance Decision, Advance Statement and/or a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare.

Chris Commerford, Programme Manager at Age UK, also blogged for Wellbeing Our Way about how care and support planning was involved in their work pioneering a new way of working with GPs and primary care workers to support the wellbeing of older people.

There are many more examples of VCSE sector projects about care and support planning on the WOW! Exchange.