A support plan is a ‘plan’ and is therefore subject to change. It is a guide to be followed in order to support the person effectively. Circumstances and needs change, and unless these changes are reported and recorded, the plan of support may stay the same and will not fulfil its original purpose. It is the responsibility of the person who will be providing the hands-on support to notice the small changes.
All changes or signs of discomfort must be recorded immediately and reported to line manager/ supervisor so the individual can be reassessed and appropriate changes to care can be implicated into the service users care plan. Reviews are essential because care situations very rarely remain the same for long periods of time. As circumstances change, the package of care may need to be reviewed in the light of those changes. At agreed intervals, all of the parties involved should come together to reflect on whether or not the package of care is continuing to do the job it was initially set up to do.
If there were no reviews, the arrangements would continue for years regardless of whether they were still meeting care needs. A review will gather together all the information about the circumstances of the person, the service provided and the service provider. It will give all those concerned with the care of the person the opportunity to express their opinions and to be involved in a discussion about how effective care provision has been and the changes that need to be made.
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Any review should attempt to obtain the views of as many people as possible who are involved in the care of the person. The most important people at the review are the service user and their family and the individuals that care for them on a daily basis. The person providing services from the care plan are a very important contributor. The care manager/coordinator is also central to the review process, as is any organisation providing the care.
It is also important that others with an interest in the care of the individual have the opportunity to participate in a review. It may also include anyone else who has been a significant contributor to the life and care of the person concerned. All parties should be equal, in that everyone has the opportunity to give a view and to contribute to the discussion. However, the key person who must agree to any review decision is the person concerned. During the review, everyone should be given a chance to contribute.
If the person receiving care has chosen to use an advocate to present their point of view, this person should have every opportunity to contribute on the person’s behalf. If some choose to communicate in writing or by other means, such as email, then those comments must be taken into account. If there have been any changes in organisational policies or access to resources, or changes in the circumstances of the service provider, these are also key matters and should be fed into the review for consideration.
You will have the opportunity to contribute your feedback and observations about the way in which the service meets the present needs of the person and what changes may be needed. Throughout any monitoring and evaluation process, you are looking for and responding to change. It is important to be clear about the difference between types of changes which require action, and those that are simply a part of everyday life and do not involve a major rethink of a care package.