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Care plans are written for people in care or with any long-term medical condition. A care plan is an agreement between the patient or service user and the health professionals or social services. It is a plan that details the care and needs of the person. It is usually a written document that is kept up to date a current as things change and the care plan will need to be adjusted.

A care plan which is sometimes called a care and support plan, or support plan if you're a carer, sets out how your care and support needs will be met. The person should be fully involved in the preparation of their care plan.

Care plans for all service users should include:

  • Why are we doing this? (aims)
  • What are we planning to achieve? (outcomes) 
  • How are we going to do it? (actions)
  • Who will do it? (responsibilities) 
  • Where will it be done? (times, locations)
  • When will it be done by? (timescales)
  • Any needs relating to REGARDS (race and culture, economic disadvantage, gender, age, religion/spirituality, disability or sexuality)

The care plan should also:

  • Include the person's role
  • Focus on peoples strengths
  • Reflect the individuals cultural and ethnic background as well as their gender and sexuality
  • Include action and outcomes in all relevant aspects of an individual’s life
  • Include crisis and contingency arrangements
  • Give the date of the next planned review (within a year)
  • Reflect transfer details if appropriate
  • Identify unmet needs

Depending on your needs, your care plan may include things like:

  • What kind of personal or health care services you need
  • What type of staff should give you these services
  • How often you need the services
  • What kind of equipment or supplies you need (like a wheelchair or feeding tube)
  • What kind of diet you need (if you need a special one) and your food preferences 
  • Your health and personal goals
  • How your care plan will help you reach your goals
  • Information on whether you plan on returning to the community and, if so, a plan to assist you in meeting that goal.

The care plan should be individual to the person, and they should be allowed to have as much involvement in the development of the plan as they wish.

Care and support should help them to:

  • Live independently
  • Have as much control over their life as possible
  • Participate in society on an equal level, with access to employment and a family life
  • Have the best possible quality of life
  • Keep as much dignity and respect as possible.

Care plans should be reviewed by social services or those responsible for the care of the person and within the first three months, and then at least annually. These reviews make sure the needs are still being met.

Finally, it is important to make sure that all documentations are written clearly and with no mistakes. Another reason for ensuring that you improve your functional skills as you develop your training.