Victoria asked Mark, a POhWER independent advocate, for support when he attended the hospital unit she was in, as part of his fortnightly drop in session.

Victoria was on a Learning Disability unit where she has been for some time. Plans were in place and the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) were preparing for her discharge in the near future.

When they met, Victoria expressed a number of concerns and wanted support from Mark to communicate these. One of these was that she wished to be involved in her care planning. She explained that she would like plans to be discussed with her and then she would like to sign them with staff so that no-one could go back on what she had agreed. She said it causes her anxiety not knowing what plans are in place, especially now she is working towards discharge. The advocate explained that care planning should involve the patient as it is supposed to be person centred.

Victoria asked Mark to raise her concerns and wishes with the MDT. The advocate agreed and arranged to come and see Victoria during his next drop in.

Mark was unable to see anyone in the MDT team on that visit so he emailed the Patient Carer Facilitator (PCF) with the issue. Mark was then copied into an email sent by the PCF to the MDT team to ask that this be discussed at Victoria’s next ward round.

Mark met with Victoria again 2 weeks later, during his drop in, where Victoria informed him that she had still not seen her Care Plan and had not received feedback on this from her MDT meeting. Mark explained the steps that could now be taken and Victoria chose to ask Mark to attend her next MDT meeting to speak on her behalf.

Mark attended the MDT meeting with Victoria. Victoria was able to express other views and wishes but Mark spoke on her behalf about the care plan. Mark expressed the importance of Victoria being involved in this and taking ownership of it to help her work towards discharge step-by-step and reduce her anxieties. The Nurse in Charge agreed this was a good idea. Mark also explained the right Victoria has to be involved in the process.

Mark met with Victoria the following day to feedback the outcomes of the MDT meeting. These were also provided in writing for Victoria to be able to refer back to.

The MDT agreed that Victoria should be involved in her care planning and this would take place. Care planning meetings were arranged and Victoria asked Mark to attend them with her.

Victoria was pleased with the outcome and felt able to contribute to her care planning which eased her anxiety around leaving hospital.