Combined Healthcare transforms care planning for patients

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust is improving how it plans care and support for its patients.

As part of the national commitment for the NHS to transform mental health services for adults and older adults, the trust has engaged and co-produced a new, integrated care approach to raise the standard of care planning for everyone.

Using the Community Mental Health Framework, published by NHS England and NHS Improvement in 2019, the trust is replacing the Care Programme Approach (CPA) with a more personalised method of planning the care needed for its service users.

Every service user will have a named key worker and a personalised care plan, which has been co-produced with the patient. Their family or carers can be involved in the process where appropriate.

Kenny Laing, Chief Nursing Officer at Combined Healthcare, said: “We believe that our service users and their carers should always be in charge of planning their care and support. It is intended that the improved approach will feel more meaningful, accessible and efficient and that service users and carers will be able to co-produce a care and support plan to meet their needs much more holistically.

“Service users will be at the centre of every care decision. Instead of a care coordinator, service users will now have a key worker; their care plan will be co-produced with the relevant people involved in their care. The key worker may change over time as the individual’s recovery goals change, meaning their support will be more tailored to their needs.”

Alongside these improvements to care planning, the trust is introducing a mobile and web app to further place control of health in the hands of its patients. PatientAide allows patients to regularly review and contribute to their care and support plan, as well as view test results, manage appointments and access resources to support their health journey.

Beginning with adults and older adults’ care, the trust plans to roll out the changes to its other services over the coming months. The trust encourages its service users to speak to their clinicians if they have any queries about these changes.