Care Plan Provision
Advocacy is all about making a difference, particularly to the lives of vulnerable people who would otherwise go unheard and their needs would likely be unmet. In her short story, Care Act Advocate, Joanne (not her real name), talks about how she helped John (not his real name) to have a vital provision added to his care plan.
Recently I was contacted by John as he was worried about his annual appointment for an MRI scan. The appointment had been made at a hospital 150 miles from John’s home and although he could travel in NHS provided transport, he wanted one of his paid carers who know him to go with him. He didn’t want to go such a long way on his own because he can get sudden seizures which are caused by stress, anxiety and excessive noise or fuss. As this was not part of John’s care plan, his carers couldn’t agree to go with him.
John called me to tell me that he was disappointed with this situation as family or friends could not go with him but he didn’t want to cancel the MRI scan as he knew it was important to his long-term health and wellbeing. He wanted help to get his care plan changed so someone could go with him every year.
The COVID-19 situation meant that John no longer had an allocated social worker so I explained to him that a request to add this to his care plan could be sent to the Adult Social Care (ASC) team. We talked through the issues and I contacted ASC on John’s behalf to make the request and explain in detail why John felt he couldn’t travel on his own and why a family member or friend couldn’t go with him.
The social worker who received the request didn’t know John so I had several telephone discussions with her to make sure she really understood the situation. Once she was satisfied that she had all the necessary information she made an urgent referral to the panel who makes decisions about what can be provided in a care plan. The panel looked at all the information and decided that John’s care plan should be changed so that a paid carer could go with him to all future MRI scans.
John was delighted and very relieved with this outcome and one week later he went for the MRI scan which went very well. John thanked me afterwards and said that he would not have been able to provide all the detailed information to ASC himself and that thanks to advocacy his care needs were taken into consideration and his care plan was changed.