Care Plans – who are they for?

Helen Sanderson talks to Forum Trustee, John Kennedy about:

  • Paperwork
  • Care Plans – what are they for?
  • Who are they for? Staff or inspectors?
  • Are Care Plans evidence-based practice?
  • Do Care Plans get in the way of care?

In 2014 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published a report on excessive paperwork. The
most depressing finding was the perception of staff that it was their
paperwork that was the defining indicator of the quality of care they
provided. They felt valued more for their paperwork than their caring
skills! This seems to be completely the wrong ‘culture’ to be promoting
kindness, empathy and good relationships. It’s a culture that encourages
distance and an ‘industrial’ ethos. One that only the most
‘outstanding’ and brave of providers can stand up to.

In March 2016 the Dept of Business, Innovation and Skills published the results of a consultation on paperwork in care. It makes an interesting read. The same message; too much paper is leading people’s hearts and minds away from the core

Perhaps the time has come for a wholesale re-evaluation; a
reinvention of what the ‘system’ requires of care workers. One where
there is evidence behind the bureaucracy and one where the true
‘opportunity cost’ of the systems demands are factored into the ask.

Paperwork is required, it is essential but it needs to be effective.
Where paper demonstrably supports good care and isn’t  in competition
for care workers time, energy and empathy. What do you think?


Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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