Service efficiency
Apr 3, 2019

How to identify and avoid the main problems with care plans

How do you know if your care plans are robust enough to pass a regulatory inspection? And will they help your service-users get the support they actually need?

If you're involved in social care you'll probably spend a great deal of time carefully planning and organising your care delivery, pathways and team. But how do you know if your care plans are robust enough to pass a regulatory inspection? And will they help your service-users get the support they actually need?

We thought we'd come up with a list of the top 8 mistakes poor care plans make according to an ex-CQC inspector and a list of actions you can take to avoid making the same errors. To start off, we'll look into what makes a care plan bad.

What are the main problems associations with bad care plans?

There are plenty of factors that can make a care plan poor or not fit for purpose. The first reason is that those in your care don't have any involvement in their care plans. The information within the plans isn't specific in setting out the needs of the person in care, the goals you want to achieve or the support that they require. The next biggest problem is that the care plans are too complex or too brief to be useful to frontline staff or external stakeholders like inspectors or GPs. The information within it is either misleading, non-factual or both. The care plans aren't focused on the wider holistic needs of the person in care. A really big problem is that they contain sarcasm, rude or offensive terminology. They focus solely on the disabilities of a person rather than their abilities. The biggest and worst problem is that they are often aren't evidence-based.

How can you make sure you don't fall into the same traps?

Every one of the problems we've listed above has its own set of risks and requirements associated with them. We'll now go into the steps you can take to avoid making them within your care plans. Keep your plans both factual and always use truthful information. Make sure you keep your language within the plans polite. Always involve your service-users with their own care plans. Make sure you question the full set of needs for the service-user involved. Use SMART goal setting. Keep enough detail for the plans to be useful. Use a positive style when recording, don't focus on negatives. Evidence why care is being provided and how it meets the person's needs. Ensure that you adhere to CQC's (or alternative) regulatory requirements at all times. Make sure you set regular intervals for reviews.

An easy step you can take is by moving from paper care plans to a care planning software like Log my Care. You'll easily be able to overcome problems associated with lacking enough evidence and setting up regular review points. When it comes to care recording within the plans, then you can also rely on pre-embedded data to provide a positive and person-centred style. Care planning software will ensure that all care notes are logged with a time/date stamp, so you're able to incorporate the best evidence as to why you're providing care in your plans.

Looking to get started with care planning software?

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