Why bother with a care Plan
A care planning document is a written document which could improve how you discuss your MS. Better discussions will lead to better understanding of what you want and how to help achieve it.
An appointment with your health professional is a very good method for describing how your health is at that moment, in that room. The problem is, that moment and that room is not a true reflection of what it’s like to live with MS; the good days, the bad days and the full spectrum of how it impacts your life.
Care planning makes the appointment a discussion, rather than an assessment. Planning your care with your health professional means your contact with them can be integrated into the rest of your life, rather than isolated from it.
Making a care planning document means a true description of your health, your needs and your aims can be shared with anyone who is in a position to help. It can enable all of your support network and medical professionals to understand the care you have had and what is required now.
The document means you’re actually making a plan to work from that everyone involved can reference to track how well you are doing.
It’s a record of things you’ve said to people so you don’t have the same conversation every time you go to the doctors or have a different person each time.
It doesn’t have to just be problems or symptoms on there. If one of my aims is that I want to go abroad on holiday and I am working towards that, it’s helpful if everyone knows that so they can be using all the different ways of helping me. Everyone can help me work towards the same thing.
Care plans come in a variety of forms and some new ones are being developed specifically for MS. National voices, the coalition of health and social care charities in England, are leading the conversation about why care planning is so important – check out their film about it here.
We have created two planning tools to help you prepare for future conversations and make sure you and your needs are at the centre of that conversation.