We spoke to Anne Weston from RHW and asked her what she would say the, “Top 10 essential care planning tips care providers need to consider when considering care plans and their management” would be. This article covers the areas she feels care providers can really make positive gains and improve the care they are able to provide.
The care planning process needs to follow an organised, systematic and deliberate format, which supports and guides care delivery. This means there should be a logical and systematic flow of the information, right through from the initial assessment to the final evaluation.
The Top 10 Essential Care Planning Tips
- Care plans must be specific and measurable
For example ‘Make sure Mrs Smith is comfortable when sitting’ is not sufficient. The care note should read ‘Mrs Smith should be made comfortable when sitting by providing a cushion for her back and a footstool to rest her feet’. This provides a specific task and a measurable outcome.
- A care plan is a legal document treat it as such
This means that it shows accountability and identifies the care to be given. It should guide the work of others and be a basis for continuity of care
- Use a positive care recording style instead of negative
Instead of recording “Mrs Smith can’t reach the toilet and is frequently incontinent”; you should endeavour to record your notes in a positive style. “Mrs Smith is continent when supported by staff to use the toilet frequently and regularly. Give Mrs Smith the opportunity to be supported to use the toilet before and after all meals, after mid-morning and mid afternoon tea, and before going to bed” this demonstrates more respectful approach and brings us onto the next point.
- Record person-centred approaches showing respect, value and appreciation
Using a person’s life history to help enabling control, choice and participation; promoting an enabling environment; maintaining and developing relationships, knowing what is important to someone and why it’s important helps to promote effective care provision.
- Focus on a person’s abilities and strengths
Rather than concentrating on what someone cannot do, you should record what the person can do and what support they need to enable them. For example you should record that ‘Mrs Smith is able to wash her face, hands and front but needs help to wash her back and lower half of body’ rather than ‘Mrs Smith is unable to fully wash herself’.
- Focus on the person’s perspective
Rather than focusing on the staff’s perspective; you should accept and enter into the person in care’s world. Don’t force them into your perceptions, which can cause distress to the person.
- Record any preferences the person has
A great example of this is when the person in care has a preference as to how you as a carer, should assist to provide personal care and in what order. Never forget that their preferences have priority over yours as to how you deliver care.
- Do not use labels
Examples we come across regularly include ‘wanderer’ and ‘difficult’, these do little to explain and understand behaviours. You should focus on understanding behaviours and contextualise their ‘To be aware that Mrs Smith starting to pace up and down the corridor is a strong indicator that she needs to use the toilet’ or ‘ Mrs Smith expresses her lack of understanding of what is happening by trying to hit out at care staff if they do not approach her in a way which suits her’. ‘Therefore you should always approach Mrs Smith directly in front of her, do not approach from behind or from the side’.
- Demonstrate the involvement of the person
Written evidence of their involvement in the activity is always preferable, “Gerard had a great time this morning playing bridge” rather than “played cards”.
- Show compliance with the Mental Capacity Act
Record clearly if you have involved other people in the assessment and care planning and why, according to the requirements of the Act.
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