Care plans in community mental health: an audit focusing on people with recent hospital admissions
Battersby, Malcolm Wayne
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Care planning is a key requirement for recovery-focused mental health care. Audit tools are available so that services can assess their alignment with accepted care planning standards but few benchmarks are available, especially for health services outside the United Kingdom. To assess implementation of recommended care planning in an Australian mental health setting for people recently hospitalised, a sample of service user records was audited against care plan requirements. Of 164 eligible records, 113 (69%) showed a care plan. Of the 113 care plans, 40 (35%) contained a risk assessment and 1 (1%) a crisis management plan. Thirty five (31%) contained some social needs assessment, 1 (1%) contained a physical health assessment, and 53 (47%) identified a primary healthcare physician. This audit indicated a large gap between recommendations and actual practice. Similar audits in other health services are required. Action is needed to integrate care planning into behavioural health practice.