Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

30th September 2015

Service users consent on care plans

Hi Sheila,

I work with a service users who has a brain injury and another that has a learning disability and I have written care plans ( which includes information from people within their framework of support the question I have is both service users do not want to read them let alone sign them. They basically don't want anything to do with them even though I have explained that this helps them as well as staff to provide individual tailored support catered to their needs, and it can be updated whenever they want it to or if their needs change etc. My question is how can I evidence this when my CQC assessor comes to do a check. One service user has written he doesn't want to read and sign and the other refuses point blank to even write on it. Also their is a section asking for their consent for support workers to read this plan and if they are refusing to read it and sign it am I in effect breaking the law ?? I want our staff to provide continuity of care and all 'sing off the same hymn sheet' so to speak.

Kind Regards

Am I breaking the law if my service user won't read or sign their care planDear Trish,

When you work in Adult Social Care there is never a right way or a wrong way, is there?

You can only go so far in attempting to get a service user to be involved in the compilation and reviewing of a care plan. I think you have done all you can do in getting service user 1 to sign to say that he does not wish to sign his care plan. With regard to service user 2, you need to record all of this in the person’s note. Providing the service user has mental capacity then you can do no more. If the person does not have mental capacity then please contact me again.

Each time you review the care plan you must offer them the chance to sign and record their decision.

You will not be breaking the law

Best wishes.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

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