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Government will miss long term care plan targets

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The government will miss its target of offering all patients with long term conditions a care plan by 2010, suggests a survey.

The poll of 430 patient advocacy groups, including Arthritis Care and the MS Society, was carried out for the RCN and voluntary sector umbrella group National Voices.

Two thirds of groups reported that only 30 per cent of their members had been offered a care plan so far. The findings suggest that just five million of the 15 million people estimated to be living with a long-term condition have been offered a care plan.

To meet the 2010 target, one million plans would have to be issued every month until the next election.

Royal College of Nursing chief executive Peter Carter said: “It is important that people with a long term condition have a care plan that ensures the care they receive is consistent and provided in a way that the patient is happy with.

“Specialist nurses provide the vital support and guidance needed to involve patients in the care planning process. Without appropriate investment in specialist and community nursing services, the government will run the risk of not meeting its target by 2010, preventing these patients from receiving the type of care they need and deserve,” he added.

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