Delivering truly personalised care

Male carer and older woman with a hand held device

One of the benefits of moving from paper to a digital social care record (DSCR) solution is that it makes it easier for relatives, and where appropriate people who receive care, to be involved in developing care plans. 

Using the family portal functionality means nominated relatives can be involved in their loved one’s care, regardless of time or place.  They can see the day-to-day updates on routines and regimens.  They can even review and provide updates to care plans, offering valuable insights to help carers deliver care that’s truly personalised. 

Hannah, Matron at Drumconner Care Home in Bournemouth is a big advocate for the use of family portal functionality and actively encourages relatives to engage with it.  

We feel it just makes everything we do more transparent and more importantly having family members involved in care planning has huge benefits.

Not only can they see what’s happening with their relative whenever they choose, but it’s also made the process of care plan reviews much easier.  Now relatives don’t have to come to us while we sit in a room going through plans, we can collaborate online beforehand so that when we do meet up, we can make sure it’s the best use of their time.

Hannah explained that information and details directly from family members can make a huge difference. 

Sometimes when one of our residents passed away, we only heard stories and anecdotes about their life during their funeral eulogy. It used to make me feel quite sad that there were whole elements of a person’s life that we didn’t know and couldn’t talk to them about.  But when family members engage with the family portal and input into care plans, we get insights that can help us know their loved one, and what matters to them.

Dominic’s father is a resident at Drumconner and he’s found the family portal functionality invaluable, 

It takes a bit of getting used to because you see alerts which can be worrying until you realise it’s because maybe something happened 20 minutes later than planned, but I'm really reassured because Hannah gets to see those alerts straight away and can act on them and I can also see that it doesn’t happen very often.

It’s alleviated a lot of anxiety, knowing I can check in and see how much Dad is doing whenever I need to. But the ability to explain a lot more about my Dad’s life so that the people who are caring for him know what matters to him, that’s been so wonderful.

Dominic has added information into his father’s care plan to explain photos and mementos in his room so that carers can understand their significance and talk to his father about them. 

Carol, whose stepmother is a Drumconner resident has also found the family portal hugely helpful, particularly after her father died and she wanted to become more involved in her stepmother’s care. 

I always feel guilty ringing the care home as I know how busy they are but sometimes I just wonder how Anne is doing, and now I can just log on and see.   

It’s the peace of mind that this system gives us is the best thing.  I live close by but my sister lives further away and it’s good that we can both see what’s going on and be reassured that Anne is being well cared for. Being able to see what’s happening helps us know how we can support her too, for example, if she has a UTI she can be quite down, and if we know that we can sort out extra visits to try and help lift her.

Carol says it’s a very different experience to the way she receives information about her mother, who is in a different care home, 

We have to request updates about how my mother is doing and they come through via email. It’s a very different approach, whereas being able to log in to my stepmother’s care plans whenever I want to is just so reassuring.

What would Hannah, the Matron at Drumconner say to other providers who are not using DSCR approaches to provide family access to care plans? 

Why wouldn’t you? It’s good for us if family members are involved, it’s about being open and honest and working together to deliver the best care for their family member. We find that the families who actively engage with the family portal are the ones we have the best care plans for!

Have you made the move towards digital care planning yet?  There’s funding available to help you get set up with a DSCR and local teams in your area who can support you in applying for funding. Find your local contact on our website

Join the Digital Care Hub’s MASTERCLASS: The benefits of Digital Social Care Records - on Tuesday 16 July, between 2-3.30pm to hear more about the benefits of DSCRs including family portal functionality.