Domiciliary Care – Why Service Users and Families are Central to Effective Care Planning


Person-centred care is effective care. But while it’s hard to imagine a scenario where good quality domiciliary care could be anything other than person-centred, recent research suggests that we may have a way to go before care planning becomes fully integrated into the person-centred approach.


A recent survey of a limited sample of care providers by the CQC found that “85% of care plans were tailored to specific needs and were reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis.” That’s the good news.

The remaining 15% accounted for around 650 individuals. Even in this limited sample that figure is far higher than acceptable.  It was also noted that of the 85% of care plans that were developed to meet specific needs and reviewed regularly, only 63% were done with the knowledge and input of the service user or associated family members. And more than half of these plans were not shared with the service user once developed; meaning individuals and their families would be unaware of when reviews should be taking place. I’m not sure that sounds like person-centred care to me.

A well-constructed care plan has multiple purposes:

  • It works as an agreement between service users and their care professionals.
  • It helps to manage specific day-to-day care requirements highlighting particular needs or difficulties.
  • It also acts as a personal communication tool, providing care workers with an overview of the individual with whom they are working.

Seeing service users as individuals

Recent advances in care have highlighted the importance of recognising each service user not only as a client but as an individual with unique characteristics and needs. An appropriate care plan allows care providers to educate all members of their care team about the individual they are visiting even if it is an initial or one off visit.

It is the responsibility of the care agency to ensure that their care plans are given a high priority, not only as a necessary element of service planning but also as a valuable tool for improving the quality and consistency of the care they provide.

Effective care plan management

Domiciliary care providers that manage the care planning process effectively allow easy access to plans for all relevant members of staff.  They also have effective processes and tools for triggering reminders for regular monitoring and reviews.

Modern domiciliary care management systems make it easy to provide team members with access to care plans and to schedule monitoring and reviews. They also provide a secure means of allowing service users and families to become more involved in the process by being able to view care plans and visit records.

The right software not only makes it easier to meet the necessary aspects of care for commissioner inspections, it also greatly improves the quality of the care provided – promoting increased confidence and satisfaction from service users and their families.

As the benefits of person-centred planning have continued to be realised in recent years, so has the importance of good practice in care planning.  The critical factor is not just saying that your care is person-centred; it’s also putting the service user truly at the centre of the care planning, delivery and review process.

Dr Katy Farrell-Wright

Clinical Psychologist, CareForIT

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Carolyn Sewell via Compfight

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