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Care plans

Only 3% of patients with long-term conditions have care plans

The report collated data from 19 countrywide patient surveys and assessed whether health and care services in England were providing patient-centred care.

GP speaking to a patient and writing report

Source: Stephen Barnes/Medical / Alamy Stock Photo

Data from the General Practice Patient Survey from January–March 2017 suggest that 54% of respondents said they had one or more long-term conditions and, of these, only 3% had a care plan

Only 3% of primary care patients with long-term conditions have a written care plan in place, according to a report by the charity coalition National Voices.

The report, which aimed to assess whether health and care services in England are providing patient-centred care, collated data from 19 countrywide patient surveys.

Data from the General Practice Patient Survey from January–March 2017, which was included in the report, found that 54% of respondents said they had one or more long-term conditions and, of these, 3% had a written care plan, 93% said they did not, and 4% were unsure.

However, the report notes that the existence of a plan does not imply a good planning process and also does not indicate whether the individual has been fully involved in creating it.

“Although people with chronic conditions and other complexities are now the main users of care, there is little evidence of proactive care planning to help them live their lives and manage their conditions in the best ways they can,” said Don Redding, director of policy at National Voices.

“We know that there are local areas really trying to get person-centred care in place, but a lot of these initiatives are still new and small scale, and they have yet to make a significant impact on people’s experiences overall.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has previously found that many GPs said they did not have the time to undertake adequate care planning for their patients.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society England put forward proposals last year for pharmacists to take over some or all of the management of certain patients with long-term conditions, which it said would relieve pressure on GPs.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203632

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