Personalising care plans – how PCSPs can improve health outcomes

    March 9, 2022


    Post Title

    Christianah Olangunju, Project Manager, talks about the future of Personalised Care and Support Planning (PSCPs) and why she’s excited to watch this space develop.

    Pictured above: Christianah Olangunju

    One of the great things about my job at the HIN is getting the opportunity to work on a   wide variety of projects. I didn’t know much about Personalised Care and Support Plans (PCSPs) prior to this project, but I now think it’s a very exciting, promising and important area being developed in the health and care space. So, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned and what I think future developments might look like.

    So, what are PCSPs?

    We’re currently seeing a large number of people living longer with complex health conditions and health needs. Collaborative personalised care and support plans are essential tools to effectively support these citizens. PCSPs let people manage their condition while still doing what’s important to them, and still getting the most out of their lives. This may mean something different for everyone for example, planning in time for an individual to take their dog for a walk, or to walk to the post office for exercise, or to generally keep a level of independence. In short, they do exactly what they say on the tin – it’s a care plan which is uniquely personalised to each individual.

    What’s the benefit of PCSPs?

    PCSPs cross over the health and social care spaces, it’s not just medical professionals who can access a patient’s PCSP but also social care professionals. This means they can bridge what’s historically been a tricky communications gap and make sure everyone relevant to a person’s care can access the right information quickly and easily.

    Having consulted with stakeholders and those in the field to determine what makes a good PCSP and what capabilities a digital solution should have to support the entire PCSP process, I’ve come to realise just how much potential these solutions have.

    Good PCSP solutions should allow a focus on what matters to the person, they should be outcomes based, shareable and able to be reviewed regularly. PCSPs consider individuals’ wants and their lifestyle and work them into the care plan. Digital PCSP solutions then capture all this information and store it in one place that is owned by the patient and can be accessed by them and by their healthcare professionals.

    Why the HIN was involved

    This piece of work came about when our colleagues at Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN asked us to work on two workstreams from NHSEI’s digital personalised care programme. The aim of one of the workstreams was to define which capabilities and requirements the PCSP digital solutions should have to help support health and social care staff and patients. NHSEI then wanted to embed these requirements to ensure consistency across suppliers – meaning that when a commissioner wants to purchase a PCSP solution, they can be confident that it has all the necessary capabilities, and that the quality is consistent.

    What’s next in the PCSP space?

    There are a lot of personal health record solutions out there already which are doing a great job of supporting citizens, but I think PCSPs will take this further as we start to use them more, as people will be able to edit some of their information and therefore really take ownership of their care plans. This is still a new space, but from engaging with industry on this project I can see a lot more solutions emerging over the next few years, and I’m really excited to see how they develop.

    I see the future of PCSPs creating a more collaborative way of working between citizens and healthcare professionals. People will be able to go into their plan, update certain fields and document any big changes that might affect their care. These plans are also dynamic, meaning that both citizens and professionals can think about actions they’ve taken, what worked and what didn’t, and update them accordingly.

    Keeping the person at the centre of their PCSP process means that they’re equal partners in the care planning process. I think that this will see better outcomes because people have ownership of their own plan, and because the plan takes their whole life into consideration, not just their condition. I’m really looking forward to seeing how PCSP digital solutions develop to improve care planning for both citizens and health and social care professionals, I’ll be watching this space closely!

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