September 16, 2022

What is a Care Plan?

Table of contents

Whether you are domiciliary care provider, work in residential care or deliver complex care across the community - you are likely familiar with the concept of a Care Plan. However, it is common to still have questions around what exactly should (or shouldn't!) be included. This article looks at the basics of what a care plan is, what should be included and why they are so important. Let's go!

What is a Care Plan?

A Care Plan is a set of information that details the specific care required by an individual. Care Plans are there to provide a reference for a care professional when they're delivering care, for the CQC to easily understand the quality of the care being provided and - perhaps most importantly - for the care recipient and their loved ones to trust that they are getting a service specifically tailored to them.

What are the types of Care Plan?

A Care Plan always details the specific care needs of an individual. However it is often referred to by a number of different names depending on the breadth or focus of the Care Plan. This can be a little confusing, so we've broken it down below:

Care Plan

A set of information that allows a care provider to deliver the best person-centred care possible to the client. This can include medical information, visit schedules, likes and dislikes and even advanced care planning.

Treatment Plan

Details the treatment required by an individual, and usually specifically refers to medication or physical therapy.

Action Plan

Similar to a Care Plan, but more goal and task orientated. Details the specific actions needed to achieve a desired outcome. For example, exercises that will help the care recipient to become more mobile.

Discharge Plan

This is more for hospitalised or short-term residential care recipients, who are only in that setting because of a one-off incident or medical emergency. This plan details the steps required to help the care recipient leave the medical facility, along with any additional support required in the brief period after they leave.

Birdie have Care Plan templates linked at the end of this article!

What should be included in a Care Plan?

The following type of information should always be included in a Care Plan. This is domiciliary care focused, but applies to residential care as well!

Personal information

Basic personal information, including a name, birthdate and address - as well as any information that can help provide more person-centred care such as favourite food, work history or favourite hobby.

Medical history

Including current medication, previous conditions or concerns and a record of where and how care has been provided.

Mental health

Current medical mental conditions and medication required, as well as general day-to-day demeanour. Details like this can help spot and prevent potential mental conditions becoming a serious issue.

Social support

Detail who is available to assist the care recipient beyond the main care provider. This can include council visitors, additional support services, fundamental services like hairdressers and podiatrists and finally family members.

Environmental risks

Include any potential risks to the care recipient that may require additional monitoring - for example, a big step down from the front door, or a sticky shower door that can be hard to open.

Nutrition requirements

Include medical requirements such as iron or protein requirements, as well as preferred regular diet and favourite foods.

Interests and activities

This can help make a Care Plan more than just a medical document. Ask the care recipient or their family members for any specific interests or favourite activities. These can include current or past hobbies, and offer a useful resource for providing person-centred care.

Communication level or preferences

Detail how the care recipient communicates. If non-verbal or communication is difficult, include detail about how best to provide care in a manner that supports the wellbeing of the care recipient. Include how the care recipient prefers to be addressed (for example, 'Mrs Lucas' or 'Jeanie') and how they could be best contacted in case of an emergency.

Birdie helps make Care Plans simple

Why is a Care Plan important?

Care Plans provide a resource for care professionals, allowing them to deliver care that doesn't just sustain those in their care but enhances their quality of life. They offer reassurance for family members that their loved ones are receiving the best quality care possible. They also help the CQC to assess the level to which you and your business are upholding standards. In short - Care Plans are the heart of any domiciliary care business!

For guidance on how to build a person-centred care plan, check out this article.

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