Supported Living care and support plans – easier said than done | QCS

Supported Living care and support plans – easier said than done

Dementia Care
January 9, 2023

Barry Price, our Specialist in Adults with Learning Disabilities and Complex Needs, on what make a good care and support plan and highlights some of the improvements QCS has done to help you create better outcome focused ones.

When it comes to care and support planning for supported living, many providers find it a complete minefield and as a manager, I could not agree more.

The variations in types of care planning systems on top of the personal views of advocates, social workers, families and regulators can make the perfect care and support plan sometimes feel like an impossible task.

There have been many occasions where I had to remind people that they should not tell me what system to use or indeed how to complete one, just because they are worded differently.

If the version used meets the requirements set out in contracts and regulations, the personal views of how these are laid out are irrelevant. What matters most is that they are person-centred, involve the service user, outcome focused and when it comes to evidencing, that you as a provider, are clearly meeting the needs of the service user. No two care and support plans are the same and that is right but, the framework used to build them can be structured to guide you through the maze of regulations, guidance and opinion.

Useful guidance for care and support plans

Of course, the additional challenge when producing person-centred care and support plans is interpreting the myriad of guidance that is available for you to follow.

I try to focus on the overarching principles that should guide how care and support plans are completed, for example:

Depending on the needs for those you support additional guidance such as those from BILD, Restraint Reduction Network, Accessible Information Standard, Mental Capacity Act and Best Interest requirements then come into play.

The list does not stop there unfortunately with the NHS National plan – Building the right support and if you are supporting individuals with Autism or those living with a learning disability the CQC need to be taken into account.

In order to meet the regulations, additional information is on hand to assist you in meeting best practice principles such as the Reach standards for supported living as well as the NDTI real tenancy test that all provide valuable evidence to assist you in meeting regulations.

The CQC Regulation 9 states that ‘people using a service have care or treatment that is personalised specifically for them. This regulation describes the action that providers must take to make sure that each person receives this appropriate person-centred care and treatment that is based on an assessment of their needs and preferences.’

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The fact that so much guidance exists can mean some areas could be missed out and even with the best framework model in the world, it is up to you to as the provider to ensure any additional areas are implemented to meet any individual needs, for example, epilepsy, diabetes or menstruation charts.

There may be other materials you would need such as signs, symbols, Makaton, large print and easy read to meet the communication needs of service users. A tick box here for you meeting accessible information standards.

How QCS can help you

As a team who want to help you get the best out of your care and support planning, QCS has reviewed and created additional care and support planning documents for supported living. These plans aim to help you create better outcome focused care and support plans that will show service user involvement, cover health and complex conditions and allow individuals to experience positive risk taking. Support plans that define who is responsible for care/support and who provides the accommodation.

Showing choice and showing how service users are supported to live as independently as possible is key – activity and work opportunities, managing personal budgets and finances are all areas that are covered in the plans. As well as health action plans and end of life resources.

For me, one of the most crucial factors of a good care and support plan is being able to show that before service users start to receive support from you as a provider that they did have a life previously. A good assessment and life history tool enables you to ensure staff take into account the service user’s life journey as part of a person-centred care and support plan.

This piece of collaborative work with service users, friends, family, appointees and legal representatives as well as health professionals clearly places the individual in control. It also enables staff to understand the journey so far and where the individual wishes their personal journey to go next with the service user being the key player when it comes to decision making about their life.

Next Steps

As a provider you should complete a review of your service users’ care and support plans and make sure that they are reflective of the ever-changing needs of your services users, outcome focused, empowering, choice and control driven. Do they cover every aspect of support? And more importantly, do they evidence review with sliding scale support that is flexed when needs change for better or worse? If not, then there is work to be done and the new QCS Care and Support Planning Tools may just be what you need.

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