The progress of government care plans for people with long-term conditions will be assessed in a new survey launched this week (23 June 2009).
National Voices, the organisation representing users of health and social care in England, and the Royal College of Nursing, will also establish what is happening on the ground for patients, and their views on progress being made on care plans.
The government has stated that by 2010 everyone with a long-term condition should be offered a care plan. The survey will find out how many people with a long-term condition either currently have a care plan, or have been offered one.
Care planning has three main aims: to improve efficiency and co-ordination among health and social services; improve the patient experience of these services; and improve patients' health outcomes.
Mark Platt, Director of Policy and Public Affairs National Voices, said: “Effective care planning is the key to ensuring that people are fully involved in their treatment and are able to make choices about how and where they are treated.
“In a time of economic downturn, care plans are also fundamental to delivering services that match need and therefore ensuring that health services are delivered cost-effectively.”
Commenting on the launch of the survey, Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “When a patient is diagnosed or living with a long-term condition, they need to have a clear understanding of what support they can expect, as well as having the opportunity to make informed choices about their own care.
“This includes all of the care on offer from hospital, community and social care services. Nurses are at the forefront of delivering high-quality care, so this survey is vital in demonstrating how patients are best served as part of the care-planning process.”