A new standard for sharing information among health and care professionals has been released today, that will facilitate better and safer care for people with long-term health and care needs. 

The digital care and support plan standard will benefit the growing number of people living in the UK with long-term and complex conditions by setting out the key information that needs to be gathered, recorded and shared in a care plan. By improving communication between different health and care services, it will enable everyone involved in a person’s care to have access to the right information when they need it. 

It forms an important part of the national drive to provide people with long-term conditions with a personalised care plan. This includes:  

  • maintaining a person’s health and wellbeing  
  • setting goals for improvement 
  • outlining how a person wants to be cared for in a crisis situation.  

It was developed with input from a wide range of professionals, carers and the people who use services. They agreed what information it is essential to share in order to provide well-coordinated care that addresses a person’s needs and goals.  

One such person involved in the standard is Stella Smith, a professional social worker and parent carer. Speaking about the new development she said: “My son Andrew was diagnosed with an Autism spectrum condition as a child. He has received help and support from many different services, but in the past we’ve faced challenges in joining these up. A digital care and support plan will mean all his information, needs and future goals will be outlined in one place, making it easier for professionals to work together to help him achieve his goals.” 

As well as supporting carers, the standard will also empower people using services to become more involved in their own care. “This is the first care and support plan of its kind and we will see the development of more specialist plans in future,” said Professor Maureen Baker CBE, chair of the PRSB. “Increasingly people want to take ownership for their own health and care.  Better information sharing between different services and the people using those services will help this happen.”  

“In North West London, our next step is to work with system suppliers, as well as regional and national stakeholders, to identify the functionality needed to implement interoperable care plans,” said Dr Nilesh Bharakhada, RCGP National Champion for Implementing Collaborative Care and Support Planning and clinical director for Digital Care Records and Interoperability at North West London Collaboration of CCGs. “We’re hoping that adoption of the standard by system suppliers will allow integrated digital care and support plans to be shared and modified by multidisciplinary teams across the whole spectrum of health and social care, to better support the needs of people with single and multiple long-term conditions.”

The standard has been published by the Professional Record Standards Body in collaboration with North West London Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS Digital and the Royal College of Physicians Health Informatics Unit.  

 

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