The Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) has updated its care planning standard to support community mental health care.

Commissioned by NHS England, the care plan standard aims to ensure the right information about a person and their needs is available in a tailored care plan that can be shared digitally with health and care professionals, and individuals themselves, wherever and whenever care is needed.

People with serious mental health conditions living in the community receive support from a wide range of services, including GPs, nurses, psychiatrists, pharmacists and occupational therapists among others.

The aim of the updated care planning standard is to help join up such services. The standard has an ‘about me’ section, which offers space for a person to share what’s most important to them and what they need professionals to know so they can feel a greater sense of control over their care.

Sarah Markham, one of the patient leads on the project, said: “As a patient I know from experience that there is nothing worse than having your clinical information stored in multiple data systems which are not always connected, and it can result in less-than-optimal treatment and outcomes.

“A standard for care plans will help to prevent this from happening and will support the digital sharing of care plans for people. It’s crucial to ensuring good quality healthcare, as well as positive patient experiences and outcomes.”

The PRSB began the project in 2020 by evaluating what information was needed in a community mental health care plan to improve care from both an individual’s and professionals’ perspectives.

Dr Nilesh Bharakhada, executive clinical director of Health and Care for the PRSB said. “The care plan standard will help to support better partnerships between health and care teams and the people who use services by enabling individuals to feel more actively involved in their own care and support plan.”

“By keeping people healthier in the community, we can improve their overall experiences, as well as reducing the number of emergency situations and the need for frequent hospitalisations.”