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Patients and paperwork - how good care planning can make better carers of us all

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Marjorie Lloyd, author of A Practical Guide to Care Planning in Health and Social Care, care planning and how to make it work for you.

Many of us working in health and social care want to do a good job and feel like we have contributed to someone’s care needs being met. Health and social care workers are also required to be able to demonstrate that they have provided good quality care, which can be difficult when most of their time seems to be taken up with meeting targets and filling out paperwork.

However these demands will not go away and as people become part of the profession they need to have tools that will help them to survive. Care planning, when carried out with care and consideration is a tool that we all use in day to day practice and is how we can demonstrate the quality and skill of our care. Many professionals feel that the mountain of paperwork takes them away from spending time with the people they came into the profession for.  It is possible however to make the paperwork work for us and the focus and purpose of spending more time with patients and clients.

Involving people in their care plan not only allows us to spend more time with them it also allows us to stop and really think about what we are doing. A Practical Guide to Care Planning is intended to help the student/ professional do just that. By focusing upon the care planning process and involving the person in the process we can make sure that the quality of care services are directed at where they are needed most - the individual person.  There has been a rallying call for more compassion and dignity (Firth Cozens & Cornwell 2009) within health and social care, but recent headlines in the nursing press have not always demonstrated this happening. Care planning offers us the opportunity to demonstrate how good we are. It gives us the focus to communicate with other members of the multidisciplinary team and it allows us to reflect upon our practice in supervision with our peers. Without a care plan to keep us focused on what we are here to do, many nurses (and other health and social care professionals) will leave the profession disillusioned with the lack of support they are getting, or worse be replaced by more generic  workers.

A Practical Guide to Care Planning therefore focuses upon how to do care planning. How to make it work for the patient as well as the organization and how it can help us work together in teams and organizations to make health and social care the profession we always wanted to be in. Many reports of when things have gone wrong indicate a lack of good communication of the needs of vulnerable people and openness about managing care provision (Francis 2010). Even when contact is limited or brief we must all be able to demonstrate that we have provided the best care available.

References

Firth Cozens J & Cornwell J (2009) The Point of Care: Enabling Compassionate Care in Acute Hospital Settings. London The Kings Fund.

Francis R (2010) Inquiry Report into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. London. Department of Health.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Marjorie (MAJJEE) is just great and I am here to testify ... She never paid me either ... mind you I have advised her too about her work while wearing my purple furs (double winks)

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