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Good practice in care reviews
In Scotland there is a regulatory requirement for most care services to review the care and support given to each person at least every six months. The review is of the care plan (now called here the 'personal plan'). The personal plan will have been drawn up when the person first started using the service. It is based on pre-admission assessment and on feedback in the first weeks of receiving the service. The regulation states that the personal plan 'sets out how the service user’s health, welfare and safety needs are to be met'.
Involving the service user in setting outcomes and goals
Good practice is to involve the service user in setting desired outcomes and goals in all aspects of their care. This can cover physical health, their social and emotional wellbeing, participation in the community and in how the service is to be delivered. The statement of aims and objectives of the service, and the introductory booklet, will help the service user and any representative to decide on how the service should be provided.
In between each review many services carry out a monthly 'progress report'. This is a mini-review which provides a record for the staff and the service user to judge how outcomes are being worked towards, and the main areas which the forthcoming review should cover. Where appropriate, the representatives of the service user can be present at the review, usually at the request of the service user. This can be a very useful support to a service user, who may find the formal nature of the meeting daunting.
Ensuring quality of service provision
After the review has taken pace and been written up, best practice is to ensure that people attending have a copy of the minutes (subject to any confidentiality issues). The personal plan may then be rewritten to record how outcomes and goals have been attained or worked towards, and any other changes in the personal plan. The personal plan must also be made available to service users directly, and to their invited representatives.
The review process is an important part of the service provision, and helps managers to assure the quality it is providing to people who use the service. From the point of view of service users, it puts them at the centre of the service, and gives them power, when it is carried out correctly, to shape the service to their own needs, as well as give general advice and feedback on the quality of the service in general.
Tony Clarke – QCS Expert Scottish Care Contributor