Actions Following a Support Plan Review

This procedure should be used to carry out a range of actions following a carer's Support Plan Review.

If you have undertaken a person's Care and Support Plan review you should refer to the relevant procedure for your team/service.

Under the Care Act there are minimum requirements for a Support Plan review as follows:

  1. A review of a new service or Support Plan should be carried out within 6-8 weeks of the service/change commencing;
  2. A review of an on-going stable Support Plan must take place no less than 12 months after the date of the 6-8 week review, and then no less than once every 12 months after that;
  3. Where the carer's needs or circumstances are likely to change reviews should be arranged as required to monitor the situation and respond to changes in a timely way.

The next review date must be no longer than 12 months time. However, the date can be earlier and decisions about the timeframe for review must consider:

  1. The complexity of the needs being met by the plan;
  2. The likelihood of deterioration or improvement in the cared for person's needs or circumstances;
  3. The likelihood of deterioration or improvement in the carer's needs or circumstances;
  4. The complexity of the plan itself (for example the level of on-going involvement required to manage the plan);
  5. The level of on-going risk to the carer and the person being cared for (from fluctuating needs or abuse and neglect);
  6. The risk that the plan will breakdown; and
  7. Whether any on-going monitoring activity is planned in between scheduled reviews.

Decisions about the timeframe for review must have regard for:

  1. The views of the carer about the timeframe for review;
  2. The views of anyone else involved in the Support Plan; and
  3. The impact on the carer's Wellbeing of the timeframe proposed.

If you are unclear about an appropriate timeframe for review you should seek the advice of your line manager.

If the carer is not happy with the timeframe for review that has been decided you must make them aware of their right to complain.

The agreed timeframe for the next review should be clearly recorded on the review record and the Support Plan.

Where a shorter timeframe has been agreed you should record the rationale for this, especially if another person or team may be asked to carry out the next review.

Where you are making arrangements for someone else to carry out the next review (rather than carrying it out yourself) you must make sure that you have recorded this in a way that will ensure the review takes place at the agreed time.

You must let the carer with Support needs know how they (or anyone else) can request an unplanned review outside of the agreed timescale if:

  1. The Support Plan is not working as intended;
  2. Their needs change (increase or decrease);
  3. Their circumstances change (for example they are offered employment);
  4. The plan is affected by any change in the circumstances of any informal support the carer receives (for example if a family member is able to provide more or less support to the carer than anticipated in the plan).

If both the Support Plan and the personal budget remain unchanged following a statutory review you should follow local processes to update the plan.

The updated plan should contain the following information:

  1. The personal budget for the next review period; and
  2. The next planned review date.

The updated Support Plan must be provided to the carer.

In all other cases a copy of the updated plan can only be shared with the carer's consent.

If the carer consents copy of the plan should be shared with any service provider who will be responsible for providing Support to the carer.

A copy must also be shared with anyone that the carer requests you share a copy with, even if they were not involved in the review itself.

Need to know

Remember, a Support Plan can only be revised following a review because there has been a change in circumstance that is not the result of a change in need. If there has been a change in need a reassessment is required before any changes to a Support Plan can be made.

Whenever you revise a Support Plan you should refer to the various sections of the Support Planning Procedure as required, facilitating an effective conversation.

Changes to a Support Plan are only proposed changes until they have been signed off by an authoriser.

Whenever you revise a Support Plan you should also consider the need to revise any Care and Support Plan at the same time.

A change in the method of managing the personal budget should be considered whenever:

  1. The carer requests it;
  2. The Local Authority identifies a different method of managing the budget as more appropriate (to meet needs, outcomes or promote Wellbeing); or
  3. There are issues with the current method of managing the budget (for example misuse of a Direct Payment).

Promoting Direct Payments

The Care Act expects you to promote the use of Direct Payments. This means that whenever you identify that a Direct Payment may be an appropriate way to manage all (or part) of a personal budget you should discuss the benefits of doing so and support access to a Direct Payment.

See the Direct Payment Procedure.

Ending, varying, suspending or arranging a Direct Payment

All Direct Payments should be ended, varied, suspended or arranged in line with local processes and requirements.

You must end a Direct Payment agreement if the carer becomes subject to a requirement, license or order to undergo drug or alcohol rehabilitation, behaviour therapy or testing.

You should consider ending a Direct Payment if any of the following situations apply and no resolution to continue the Direct Payment can be found:

  1. The person managing the Direct Payment has breached a condition of the Direct Payment Agreement;
  2. The person managing the Direct Payment has not been using the Direct Payment to meet eligible needs;
  3. A Direct Payment is no longer deemed the most effective way to meet the carer's needs.

See the Direct Payment Procedure for further guidance.

When a decision has been made during the review to change the provider of formal services you should use the Commissioning and Brokerage Procedures to end current services and arrange a new one.

Concerns about a provider

If the current service is being ended because you have concerns about the provider you have a responsibility to:

  1. Take any appropriate action under safeguarding; and
  2. Raise general concerns.

See Safeguarding Adults.

See also: Section 13, Reporting Concerns about a Service Provider.

Examples of changes in circumstance that decrease a personal budget

  1. Another family member intends to provide increased levels of care (reducing the carer's need for support);
  2. The cared for person is going to receive increased formal services;
  3. There is going to be a change in support provision and the cost of this is less than the current provision;
  4. Some needs are going to be met by an alternative provision, such as health or housing.

Examples of changes in circumstances that do not change the personal budget

  1. The carer will be changing the days that they receive support due to a change in working pattern;
  2. The person being cared for has increased needs but other family members will providing additional Support to the carer;
  3. The carer has new outcomes that existing services will be supporting them to meet;
  4. A new contingency plan within the same budget has been agreed.

Examples of changes in circumstance that increase the personal budget

  1. The service provider supporting the carer has failed and the only appropriate alternative has an increased cost;
  2. The needs of the carer have not changed but informal support they have from family has decreased.

You must revise the Support Plan so that all of the changes being proposed are reflected in it. The date of the next planned review should also be clearly recorded.

The plan should then be submitted for sign off.

See: Signing Off a Support Plan and Agreeing a Final Personal Budget for further guidance.

When signed off the updated Support Plan must be provided to the carer.

If the carer consents a copy of the plan should also be shared with any service provider who will be responsible for providing Support to the carer.

A copy must also be shared with anyone that the carer requests you share a copy with, even if they were not involved in the planning process itself.

The carer may only request that the Support Plan is ended in the following situations:

  1. When all eligible needs are to be met through informal support networks and/or alternative services outside of a personal budget (for example health provision); or
  2. If applicable, the carer has become self funding and intends to arrange and manage their own services without involvement of the Local Authority.

Any request to end the Care and Support Plan in these situations should be considered but should only be agreed if you are satisfied that:

  1. Informal networks of support are appropriate, willing and able to meet eligible needs and sustainable without the plan; and/or
  2. Alternative services proposed are appropriate to meet eligible needs; and
  3. The alternative services are available; and
  4. The carer is not a vulnerable adult themselves and at risk of abuse or neglect without the plan.

In addition, there may be a benefit in maintaining the Support Plan with the carer's consent when:

  1. Circumstances are likely to change or deteriorate without on-going Local Authority involvement;
  2. Risks to the carer or the cared for person are likely to increase without on-going Local Authority involvement.

If you are at all concerned about ending the plan you should discuss the benefit in maintaining the plan with the carer, although you are only able to continue the plan if:

  1. The carer consents to continuing the plan; or
  2. The carer is a vulnerable adult themselves and at risk of abuse or neglect without the plan.

If the plan continues you will need to consider any revisions that are required to it, in particular:

  1. Changes to the support to meet eligible needs;
  2. Changes to the personal budget and the way that it is managed; and
  3. Changes to the contingency plan to manage risk.

The Local Authority can only consider ending the plan when:

  1. The carer no longer has eligible needs; or
  2. The person being cared for has moved into a care home on a permanent basis.

If a carer has eligible needs and the decision is made to end the Support Plan the duty for the Local Authority to meet eligible needs is not discharged until:

  1. Alternative support is in place; and
  2. Alternative support is meeting eligible needs.

You will therefore need to consider any support that the carer may need in order to arrange alternative services. This could involve:

  1. Supporting the carer directly to arrange an alternative service;
  2. Monitoring when the carer has arranged the service themselves;
  3. Liaising with another person to do so (for example a family member or an advocate).

When alternative support is arranged you can end the support that was being provided by the Local Authority. This could be a staged approach to terminating services, in line with the time that different alternative services begin, or an all-encompassing approach with a clear end date for all support.

Ending the financial contribution

Where applicable and if a carer is making a financial contribution, whenever chargeable services are no longer provided through a personal budget you must notify the team responsible for financial assessment so that arrangements can be made to:

  1. Cancel any financial contributions after the date that services ended; and
  2. Reimburse any monies that may be owing to the carer.

You can end the Support Plan itself when you are satisfied that:

  1. Alternative support is in place;
  2. Eligible needs are being met; and
  3. The services provided by the Local Authority have ended.

Upon ending the Support Plan you must:

  1. Provide the carer with any information and advice they request (or you feel would be beneficial) about available appropriate services to meet their needs;
  2. Provide them with information and advice about ways they can prevent, reduce or delay needs;
  3. Provide them with any other information that they request or that you feel will be beneficial;
  4. Consider the support the carer may need to contingency plan;
  5. Explain to them what they should do if the alternative support breaks down in the future;
  6. Agree any monitoring arrangements you deem necessary;
  7. Explain to them what to do if they change their mind about arranging their own services (where a person has requested the Support Plan is ended);
  8. Explain to them what they should do if their needs or situation changes (for example if the needs of the cared for person increase); and
  9. Continue to carry out any Care and Support processes with the cared for person as agreed.

All of the above information should be confirmed in writing.

You should consider closing the case when:

  1. The Support Plan is ended;
  2. There is no need to monitor the situation; and
  3. The carer knows what to do should their circumstances change or they no longer wish to arrange their own services.

Whenever a review has identified that the carer's need for Support has changed a proportionate reassessment of need must take place. This applies regardless of whether the change indicates an increase in needs for support or a decrease. No revision of a Support Plan can be made until current needs have been established and eligibility determined.

The process of reassessment is the same as the process of assessment, but it must take into account all of the information gathered at review to:

  1. Avoid unnecessary duplication; and
  2. Establish changes in need as quickly as possible.
Need to Know

When carrying out a reassessment of a carer's need for Support you should also consider the need to carry out a reassessment of the cared for person's need for Care and Support.

If the review has identified that there has been a change in need or circumstance you will need to consider the need to provide urgent or interim support to ensure that the duty to meet needs is fulfilled during the time that:

  1. The reassessment of need is taking place; or
  2. The Support Plan is being revised; or
  3. Steps are being taken to resolve issues with informal or alternative support provision.

See Urgent and Interim Support, which provides guidance on when support should be considered, deciding how to meet urgent needs and arranging funding for urgent support.

The Care Act requires you to make proportionate and appropriate arrangements to monitor the Support Plan whenever this is required.

Examples of situations when monitoring may be required include:

  1. If the plan is deemed unstable even with contingency;
  2. If the carer's needs are expected to change in the short term (impacting on the level of support they will need);
  3. If there is a likely risk of deterioration in needs or circumstance without monitoring;
  4. As part of ongoing MDT involvement or monitoring of a Care and Support Plan for the cared for person;
  5. If you are co-ordinating the follow up of an action plan agreed at review;
  6. To manage the risk from abuse or neglect.

The arrangements to monitor must be:

  1. Proportionate and appropriate to the carer's situation and risk;
  2. Agreed with the carer; and
  3. Agreed from a strengths based approach to promote resilience of the carer and their informal networks of support.

If you are unclear about the need to monitor you should seek advice from your line manager.

Need to Know

On-going monitoring can increase the likelihood of dependency on the Local Authority and it is important to build resilience wherever possible.

To reduce the risk of dependency decisions about monitoring must be made taking into account evidence that confirms the actual level of risk in not doing so (as opposed to the perceived risk that may be associated with anxiety only).

Recording monitoring arrangements

Monitoring arrangements must be clearly recorded.

Where you are making arrangements for someone else to monitor the situation (rather than monitoring it yourself) you must make sure that you have recorded this in a way that will ensure the monitoring activity takes place at the agreed time.

Monitoring should take place as agreed unless:

  1. There is a need to revise the monitoring arrangements (due to an unexpected change in need or situation);
  2. There is a need to carry out a different Care and Support function (for example a reassessment); or
  3. Monitoring is no longer proportionate or necessary.

Any monitoring activity carried out should be clearly recorded and you should use supervision effectively to discuss and agree the need for continued monitoring.

When reducing or ending monitoring activity you should do this with regard for:

  1. The carer's views about the need to monitor;
  2. The impact on the carer's Wellbeing of any decision (including their personal resilience); and
  3. Any impact on the Wellbeing of the person being cared for.

Future reviews

Where monitoring of a Support Plan is on-going consideration should be given to any subsequent statutory reviews being 'light touch; in nature.

If monitoring is no longer appropriate or required you should:

  1. Ensure that a statutory review date is agreed and clearly recorded;
  2. Explain to the carer what steps to take should their needs or situation change;
  3. Provide any information and advice as required; and
  4. Cease monitoring activity.

If you are unclear about the need to monitor you should seek advice from your line manager.

If the carer is not happy with any decision to reduce or end monitoring arrangements you must make them aware of their right to complain.

The duty to provide good information and advice about adult Care and Support applies at all times.

See: Providing Information and Advice (which is part of the Care Act 2014) to read more about the duty to provide good information and advice, including the duty to make sure that information and advice is accessible to the person receiving it.

Following the review process it is important that you:

  1. Offer information and advice as appropriate, including signposting to other sources;
  2. Give the carer and anyone else involved opportunities to ask questions or seek clarity.

See: Providing Information and Advice, which includes access to local and national information and advice resources (general and specialist).

Under Section 2 of the Care Act the Local Authority has a duty to prevent, reduce or delay the need for Care and Support/Support

There are many kinds of prevention services available. When considering, seeking, or arranging preventative services, this should be

  • Personalised, responsive and flexible depending on the needs of the person;
  • Creative and focussed on what people want to achieve in their lives;
  • Strengths-based building on what people and their communities can do and promoting new ideas.

All available prevention services in the local area should be explored before undertaking a longer-term intervention.

Information about preventative services provided by our Adult Services can be found in the Local Resources section.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Community Alarm;
  • Community Occupational Therapy;
  • Rehabilitation.

In addition to our own services, preventative support is also available from community and partner organisations. Information about these can be found in the Adult Services section of the Council website.

See: Adult Social Care Hub.

If, following a review you feel that a prevention service may be an appropriate service for the carer you must support them to access it.

Note: It is your responsibility to understand the local policy around the financial assessment of carer's.

Where carer's are financially assessed, following the review process you should consider any need to request a reassessment of the carer's financial resources. You should notify the team responsible for financial assessment if you become aware that:

  1. A carer's financial situation has changed (either improved or deteriorated);
  2. A carer is having difficulty making their contribution;
  3. The personal budget is going to be changed;
  4. The carer is going to be using informal or non-chargeable services to meet some or all of their needs.

You should explain to the carer that you are going to be requesting a further financial assessment and why. You should provide them with information and advice as required about the financial assessment process. This is particularly important if the carer has not had a financial assessment before.

See the Financial Assessment Procedure for further guidance.

If, as part of any conversation you have with a carer or their family you become concerned that a vulnerable adult or a child is experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect you must respond appropriately.

See Safeguarding Adults, which also includes information about how to raise a children's safeguarding concern.

If you are concerned that an adult or child is in imminent danger from abuse or neglect, or that a criminal act has taken place you should contact the police by dialing 999.

Under section 5 of the Care Act the Local Authority has a duty to maintain an effective and efficient market of services for meeting Care and Support / Support needs in the local area. A key part of maintaining a market place is understanding what is working and not working about the marketplace. It is therefore important that you report any concerns you have about any service that is provided to meet Care and Support/Support needs to the service within the Local Authority responsible for monitoring it.

The local marketplace includes:

  1. Services that are commissioned by the Local Authority;
  2. Services that are provided by the Local Authority (for example, Reablement);
  3. Services used by self funders and people who have a Direct Payment;
  4. Universal services available to all residents; and
  5. Services provided by partner agencies (for example health or voluntary services).

In all cases, you must take appropriate steps to manage the risk to an individual posed by the poor practices of a service provider. Effective ways of managing the risk could be:

  1. Raising a Safeguarding concern;
  2. Arranging an alternative provider (there is a duty to do this when a regulated provider fails);
  3. Agreeing monitoring arrangements.

The commissioning service are responsible for ensuring that regulated Care and Support services are safe and of a high standard when:

  1. They are commissioned by the Local Authority (services provided in the Local Authority area or outside of it); or
  2. They are being used by individuals who have a Direct Payment (services in the Local Authority area); or
  3. They are available to individuals who self fund or use a Direct Payment (services in the Local Authority area only).

You should notify the commissioning service if you have general concerns about any of the following:

  1. Domiciliary Care Providers commissioned by the Local Authority (either in the local area or outside of it);
  2. Domiciliary Care Providers available in the local area but not commissioned (used by people with a Direct Payment or self-funders);
  3. Residential and nursing homes commissioned by the Local Authority (either in the local area or outside of it);
  4. Residential and nursing homes available in the local area but not commissioned (used by self-funders);
  5. Reablement services provided or commissioned by the Local Authority;
  6. Regulated day services (those providing personal care) commissioned by the Local Authority or available in the local area;
  7. Any other regulated Care and Support provision (for example Care and Support provided as part of a residential college placement).

Where you are providing details about a particular incident involving a carer or person with Care and Support needs you should:

  1. Make the individual aware that you are raising the concern and why; and
  2. Establish whether they consent to be contacted as part of any further information gathering if required.

The commissioning service will determine the most appropriate response to the concern that has been raised, which could include:

  1. Contract renegotiation with a commissioned provider;
  2. Agreeing and monitoring an action plan with the provider;
  3. A temporary stop on the use of a provider;
  4. A large scale safeguarding response;
  5. Joint work with another Local Authority (when the provider is not local);
  6. A recommendation to information and advice services not to signpost to a provider;
  7. Notification of concerns to the Care Quality Commission;
  8. A letter to people who use a service.

You may be asked to support the commissioning service by providing additional information or assisting in any investigation process they undertake. You are required to co-operate with any request under the Care Act unless doing so will:

  1. Prevent you from effectively carrying out other duties under the Care Act; or
  2. Prevent you from effectively carrying out duties under any other legislation.

Unregulated Care and Support services are generally services that do not provide personal care, and so do not have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission. They include:

  1. Some day services;
  2. Prevention services provided by housing;
  3. Health services;
  4. Colleges and training centres;
  5. Advocacy services;
  6. Voluntary and charitable services.

If the services are commissioned by the Local Authority you should report concerns to the commissioning service in the same way that you would report a concern about a regulated Care and Support service.

If the services are provided by a partner organisation (such as health, housing or education) there will be local arrangements in place to report concerns. If you do not know what these arrangements are you should:

  1. Speak to your line manager; or
  2. Speak to the commissioning service.

Where you are providing details about a particular incident involving a carer or person with Care and Support needs you should:

  1. Make the individual aware that you are raising the concern and why; and
  2. Establish whether they consent to be contacted as part of any further information gathering if required.

When concerns arise about the practice of a personal assistant you should discuss your concerns with:

  1. The person with Care and Support needs (or their representative if they lack capacity);
  2. The carer; and
  3. The person receiving the Direct Payment (if this is not the person or the carer).

Depending on the nature of the concern it could be resolved through:

  1. A conversation with the personal assistant to discuss the concerns and identify action required to resolve them;
  2. The provision of training to the personal assistant (for example manual handling training);
  3. A review of the working conditions and requirements in the contract to make sure that the tasks to be completed are clear.

If specialist information or advice is required or requested (for example relating to employment law) you should contact a suitably qualified person or organisation as required.

If presenting issues cannot be resolved or you remain concerned about the continued suitability of the personal assistant you should consider:

  1. Any monitoring arrangements required;
  2. The need to add a condition to the Direct Payment, that the Direct Payment cannot be used to employ the personal assistant; or
  3. The need to end the Direct Payment.

Any decision must have regard for:

  1. The views of the person with Care and Support needs;
  2. The views of the carer;
  3. The views of the person receiving the Direct Payment (if this is not the person with Care and Support needs); and
  4. The impact on the person's Wellbeing.

You should seek the advice of your line manager and the team responsible for managing Direct Payments as required.

Concerns about a personal assistant providing support to others

If you know that the personal assistant is providing Care and Support to other individuals in the local area you must consider any further action required. This could be:

  1. Notifying the team responsible for managing Direct Payments of the concerns so they can take appropriate action to notify others;
  2. Raising a safeguarding concern in respect of another individual being supported by the personal assistant.

Concerns about a personal assistant who is part of a local register

When a personal assistant is part of a local register of PA's it is important that any unresolved or on-going concerns are reported to the organisation or person responsible for managing the register.

This will allow for the register to be updated and consideration given to the on-going suitability of the PA to be included on it.

The Local Authority values openness, transparency and candour and encourages you to raise concerns as soon as possible about the practice of any individuals (whether they are employed by the Local Authority or not) that you feel:

  1. Compromises the safety or Wellbeing of a person with Care and Support needs; and/or
  2. Compromises the safety or Wellbeing of a carer with support needs; and/or
  3. Compromises the safety of a child.

Examples of individuals employed by the Local Authority include:

  1. A social worker;
  2. An occupational therapist;
  3. Unqualified workers in social work or occupational therapy services;
  4. Support workers in Local Authority day or provider services;
  5. Individuals employed in other areas of the organisation (such as housing officers and teachers in Local Authority schools or colleges).

Examples of individuals employed by other organisations include:

  1. Health professionals (for example a community or district nurse, a GP, a Psychiatrist or Psychologist, a Speech and Language Therapist. An Optician or a Dentist);
  2. Police Officers;
  3. A support worker in a charitable organisation;
  4. An advocate.

Whistleblowing is part of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA). Under the Act you:

  1. Must be provided with a safe space in which to raise the concerns;
  2. Must be taken seriously;
  3. Cannot be subjected to any detrimental or unfavourable treatment and victimisation by the Local Authority or individuals as a result of making a disclosure.
Need to Know

If you are a student you are not protected by the Public Interest Disclosure Act. Prior to raising a concern you should seek advice from your University tutor, lecturer or mentor, a trade union or the Whistleblowing Helpline (details below).

Legally you do not have to provide any hard evidence to support a whistleblowing disclosure, but if you have any evidence you should always provide it. This could be:

  1. Details of when a specific incident occurred;
  2. A witness statement written by you or that has been provided to you;
  3. Other documentary evidence (for example an e-mail or letter).

If you require further advice about whistleblowing before making a disclosure you can contact the Whistleblowing Helpline:

  1. By telephone on 08000 724 725;
  2. by e-mail at enquiries@wbhelpline.org.uk.

Concerns should be raised in line with local whistleblowing policy and process.

Last Updated: May 31, 2022

v31