Any Londoner can now view their Universal Care Plan (UCP) via the NHS App, giving them reassurance that their care preferences are communicated correctly to those health and care professionals looking after them (23 January 2024).
The UCP is an NHS service that enables every Londoner to have their care and support wishes 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 or via a web portal
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.
All patients across London can view their UCP via the NHS App from 23 January 2024, following a successful pilot programme that began in November last year across 20 GP practices.
During the six week pilot, patients viewed their care plans via the NHS App 627 times and feedback included that it was simple to use and a helpful and reassuring development. In addition there were no reported clinical issues, incidents or negative impact for health and care providers.
To further increase involvement of patients in their care planning, work is also underway to enable patients to create and edit their care plans using the NHS App and web browser. We expect this function to be available later in the year.
Katherine Buxton, UCP Clinical Lead, said:
“It is really important for people at the end of their lives to know that their wishes and preferences for care are communicated to all health and social care professionals looking after them. This is particularly important in an emergency situation. By enabling people to view their Universal Care Plan via the NHS App we are increasing visibility and awareness and helping to ensure that the right care is given to the person at the right time and in the right place. This will help give people much needed reassurance at what can often be a very challenging time.”
Tomas Ince, UCP Senior Clinical Transformation Manager, said:
“Integrating the Universal Care Plan with the NHS App has only been possible thanks to incredible collaboration between a massive range of stakeholders including NHS England, Integrated Care Systems, GP Surgery teams and secondary and palliative care providers across London. Thank you to you all. Together we are making a positive difference giving people reassurance that their wishes are being communicated correctly.”
A communications resource pack has been sent to GP practices, secondary care providers and palliative care providers across London. This includes information for patients to raise awareness that they can now access their UCP via the NHS App and to answer any questions they might have.