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Expanding the Universal Care Plan for London

The Universal Care Plan (UCP) for London is an NHS service that enables every Londoner who needs one, to have a personalised care plan digitally shared with health and care professionals across the Capital. It can be accessed through the London Care Record, some local Electronic Patient Record systems and via a web portal (7 May 2024).

Introduced in July 2022 to initially support end-of-life and palliative care planning, the UCP helps to ensure that more patients receive the care and outcomes they desire when they reach the end of their life, including being able to die in their preferred setting.

The UCP is becoming a well-established tool with over 59,000 live care plans. The tool has expanded to support people with sickle cell and Londoners can now view their care plans via the NHS App. 

Later this year the UCP will evolve into a broader personalised care and support plan. In addition to urgent and end-of-life care and supporting people with sickle cell disease, it will also support patients with other multiple long-term conditions including dementia, frailty and learning disabilities. Patient preferences and wishes will remain a key element of the UCP.

Lucy Colleer

Here Lucy Colleer, UCP Transformation  Manager, answers some frequently asked questions about the changes.

Why are you making changes to the UCP?

A few years ago, when we were developing plans for the UCP, we consulted hundreds of health and care staff who were already involved in creating urgent and end-of-life care plans. Many of them said that they wanted a more flexible digital care plan that could be used to support patients who may have other health needs, such as long-term conditions, and may not necessarily be receiving end-of-life care or palliative care.

After the UCP was launched as an urgent and end-of-life plan in 2022, we began some detailed engagement with different clinical groups to understand how they wanted to use the UCP and how it would fit into their pathways. The changes we are making now are based on this work with clinical experts. 

Will the UCP still be used for urgent and end-of-life care planning?

Yes, we know that since its launch the UCP has made a significant and positive difference for patients. Enabling existing patients and professionals to record and view important information relating to urgent and end-of-life care will remain an integral and important part of the UCP.

How will the new template change how I use the UCP?

After the care plan template is redesigned the UCP will look and feel exactly as it does now. Key elements including the patient banner, search function, summary view, printing and the contents menu will be the same. The most noticeable changes will be the renaming of some forms in the contents menu, additional forms and additional data fields. Some existing sections have been moved to other forms.

When will the new template be introduced?

The launch date of the new template release has not yet been confirmed. However we will ensure everyone is given at least two months’ notice and are planning extensive communications. We are also reviewing our training materials.

Visit the UCP website to stay up to date with all the latest news.

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