Planned care refers to services for pre-arranged health and wellbeing appointments either in a community setting or in a hospital.
For the first time, a set of best practice guidelines have been produced about how to deliver planned care in Surrey Heartlands. These are known as the Planned Care Principles.
Citizens should be supported and empowered to self-care by easily accessing good quality information and local support. This could include signposting to websites or helplines, lifestyle guidance and exercise advice. Information should be easily available for citizens to ensure support is available to citizens in their own time.
Citizens and carers of all ages should have access to emotional support and wellbeing all the way through the planned care journey, including during recovery.
This should be achieved by working closely with voluntary sector organisations and other local partners.
Citizens should have access to a specialist practitioner in the community and clinicians will have clear referral routes. This means that where clinically appropriate, citizens may not necessarily need to see a GP for a referral when triage and treatment could happen at an earlier stage by another healthcare professional.
Face-to-face and follow-up appointments should be offered when needed and more alternatives will be available if needed. Rather than citizens needing to wait or travel to appointments that may be inconvenient, there should be different options available to ensure patients receive care as quickly and safely as possible.
We should reduce health inequalities by improving access to services for vulnerable and higher risk populations.
Health and care professionals across the system should engage with all of our communities to recognise the challenges faced and ensure that access to high quality health and care is universally available to everybody.
We should utilise the available technology to improve health and care by reducing unnecessary delays, including waiting times.
As society rapidly moves into an increasingly digital age, health and care professionals should be exploring innovative enablers such as virtual clinics, online tools, apps and electronic communication rather than solely rely on older methods of communication such as letters and fax machines.
We should develop patient navigators for complex conditions where multiple specialties are required so everyone is supported through the planned care journey. Citizens with complex or long-term conditions often have to see more than one specialist, which can not only be complicated but also have an emotional impact. Where possible we should offer dedicated support to provide advice and guidance to ensure citizens are fully supported.
Citizens should be empowered and informed of treatment and management options using shared decision-making, all the way through their planned care journey. By bringing citizens to the heart of decision making processes, patients will have an informed choice about their treatment options and have the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have in detail.
When citizens want to access services we should respect patient choice by offering different access points, flexibility and tailoring care options whenever possible in accordance to the NHS Constitution. We should all recognise that ‘one size does not fit all’ and an intervention that may be beneficial to one citizen, may be detrimental to another, so where clinically appropriate, we should offer our patients as much choice as possible.