Decision Support Tool

Note: this section is not yet complete. The full document can be accessed via the links below. Note that the DST was revised in June 2016 but with (so far as I can see) no significant changes  to its content. I will make any revisions in due course to this website.

The DST – or Decision Support Tool – is a document on which the mutidisciplinary team will record their assessment of the individual’s needs in relation to 12 care domains. Each domain is broken down into a number of levels, each of which is carefully described. For each domain MDTs are asked to identify which level description most closely matches the individual’s needs.

MDTs are then asked to make a recommendation as to whether the individual should be entitled to NHS continuing healthcare. It is therefore a very important document, because it is on the basis of this recommendation that funding should be awarded or not. (I say “should”, because the Framework specifies that only in exceptional circumstances should the  MDT’s recommendation be overturned. However, …..)

The DST can be accessed as a pdf or word document from the GOV.UK website:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-framework-for-nhs-continuing-healthcare-and-nhs-funded-nursing-care or download it direct as  word doc here

The first 16 pages give guidance and background. The actual form for completion is on Page 17 onwards.

Executive summary (wording from 2012 version)

We have developed the Decision Support Tool (DST) to support practitioners in the application of the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-Funded Nursing Care.

Note: We have tried to make this document as clear and accessible as possible for people having assessments for NHS continuing healthcare, and their families and carers. Because of the nature of NHS continuing healthcare and this document, some words are used that may not be immediately understandable to someone who is not professionally trained. The person using the DST should make sure that individuals, and carers or representatives (where consent is given), understand and agree to what has been written. If necessary, advocacy support may be needed.

All these tools are available electronically (as Word documents) and pages or boxes can be expanded as necessary.

It is important to note that these are national tools and the content should not be changed, added to or abbreviated in any way. However, CCGs may attach their logo and additional patient identification details if necessary (e.g. adding NHS number, etc.).

Summary

(i)      The purpose of the Decision Support Tool (DST) is to support the application of the National Framework and inform consistent decision making.

(ii)     The DST should be used in conjunction with the guidance in the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare.

(iii)    CCGs and the NHS Commissioning Board (the Board) will assume responsibilities for NHS CHC from 1 April 2013.

(iv)      The Board will assume commissioning responsibilities for some specified groups of people (for example, prisoners and military personnel). It therefore follows that the Board will have statutory responsibility for commissioning NHS CHC, where necessary, for those groups for whom it has commissioning responsibility. This will include case co-ordination, arranging completion of the decision support tool, decision-making, arranging appropriate care packages, providing or ensuring the provision of case management support and monitoring and reviewing the needs of individuals. It will also include reviewing decisions with regards to eligibility where an individual wishes to challenge that decision.

(v)       Where an application is made for a review of a decision made by the Board, it must ensure that in organising a review of that decision, it makes appropriate arrangements to do so, so as to avoid any conflict of interest.

(vi)      Throughout the Decision Support Tool where a CCG is referred to, the responsibilities will also apply to the Board (in these limited circumstances).

(vii)   The DST should be completed by a multidisciplinary team, following a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment of an individual’s health and social care needs and their desired outcomes. The DST is not an assessment in itself.

(viii)  The consent of the individual who is the subject of the DST must be obtained before the assessment is carried out and they should be given a full opportunity to participate in the completion of the DST. The individual should be given the opportunity to be supported or represented by a carer or advocate if they so wish.

(ix)    The DST asks multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) to set out the individual’s needs in relation to 12 care domains. Each domain is broken down into a number of levels, each of which is carefully described. For each domain MDTs are asked to identify which level description most closely matches the individual’s needs.

(x)     MDTs are then asked to make a recommendation as to whether the individual should be entitled to NHS continuing healthcare. This should take into account the range and  levels of need recorded in the DST and what this tells them about whether the individual has a primary health need. This should include consideration of the nature, intensity, complexity or unpredictability of the individual’s needs. Each of these characteristics may, in combination or alone, demonstrate a primary health need, because of the quality and/or quantity of care required to meet the individual’s needs.

(xi)    All sections of the DST must be completed.

(xii)   This is a summary. It is very important that the guidance notes are read in full and that those completing DSTs have an understanding of the National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care.

(page 8)

User Notes

Key principles

This Decision Support Tool (DST) should support the application of the National Framework and inform consistent decision making in line with the primary health need approach.

The DST should be used in conjunction with the guidance on the National Framework. Practitioners should ensure they are familiar with the guidance before beginning to use the DST. An individual will be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare where it can be said that they have a ‘primary health need’. The decision as to whether a person has a primary health need takes into account the legal limits of Local Authority (LA) provision. Using the Decision Support Tool correctly should ensure that all needs and circumstances that might affect an individual’s eligibility are taken into account in making this decision.

  1. The Decision Support Tool should be used following a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment of an individual’s health and social care needs and their desired outcomes. Where a multidisciplinary assessment has been recently completed, this may be used, but care should be taken to ensure that this remains an accurate reflection of current need. The tool is a way of bringing assessment information together and applying evidence in a single practical format to facilitate consistent evidence-based decision making on NHS continuing healthcare eligibility.
  2. The multidisciplinary assessment of needs should be in a format such that it can also be used to assist Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and LAs to meet care needs regardless of the outcome of the assessment for NHS continuing healthcare. The assessment should be carried out in accordance with other relevant existing guidance, making use of specialist and any other existing assessments as appropriate.
  3. The multidisciplinary assessment that informs completion of the DST should be carried out with the knowledge and consent of the individual, and the individual should be given a full opportunity to participate in the assessment. The individual should be given the opportunity to be supported or represented by a carer, family member, friend or advocate if they so wish. The assessment process should draw on those who have direct knowledge of the individual and their needs.
  4. Completion of the tool should be carried out in a manner that is compatible with wider legislation and national policies where appropriate, including the End of Life Care Strategy, long-term conditions policy, Valuing People, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  1. Although the tool supports the process of determining eligibility, and ensures consistent and comprehensive consideration of an individual’s needs, it cannot directly determine eligibility. Professional judgement will be necessary in all cases to ensure that the individual’s overall level of need is correctly determined and the appropriate decision made.

Process

  1. Once an individual has been referred for a full assessment for NHS continuing healthcare (by use of the Checklist or, if this is not used in an individual case, by direct referral for a full assessment for NHS continuing healthcare) then, irrespective of the individual’s setting, the CCG has responsibility for coordinating the whole process until the decision about funding has been made and a care plan has been agreed. The CCG should identify an individual, or individuals, to carry out this coordination role. The coordinator may be a CCG member of staff or may be from an external organisation by mutual agreement.
  2. The coordinator should identify the appropriate individuals to comprise the multidisciplinary team (MDT) and liaise with them to complete the DST. This involves matching, as far as possible, the extent and type of the individual’s specific needs with the descriptions in the DST that most closely relate to them. This approach should build up a detailed analysis of needs and provide the evidence to inform the decision regarding eligibility.
  3. The individual’s consent should be obtained before the process of completing the DST commences, if this has not already been obtained. The individual should be made aware that the DST is to be completed, have the process explained to them (including how personal information will be shared between different organisations), and be supported to play a full role in contributing their views on their needs. It should also be noted that individuals can withdraw their consent at any time in the process.
  4. The individual should be invited to be present or represented wherever possible. The individual and their representative(s) should be given sufficient notice of completion of the DST to enable them to arrange for a family member or other advocate to be present. Where the individual would find it practically difficult to make such arrangements (such as when they are in hospital or their health needs make it difficult for them to contact relevant representatives), the CCG should offer to make the arrangements for them, in accordance with their wishes.
  5. Even where specific circumstances mean that, in a limited range of situations, it is not practicable for the individual (or their representative) to be present, their views should be obtained and actively considered in the completion of the DST. Those completing the DST should record how the individual (or their representative) contributed to the assessment of their needs, and if they were not involved why this was.
  1. Even where an individual has not chosen someone else to support or represent them, where consent has been given the views and knowledge of family members may be taken into account.
  2. Completion of the DST should be organised so that the person understands the process, and receives advice and information to enable them to participate in informed decisions about their future care and support. The reasons for any decisions should be transparent and clearly documented.
  3. If there is a concern that the individual may not have capacity to give their consent, this should be determined in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the associated code of practice. Those completing assessments or the DST should particularly be aware of the five principles of the Act:
  • A presumption of capacity – every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is established that they lack capacity.
  • Individuals being supported to make their own decisions – a person must be given all practicable help before anyone treats them as not being able to make their own decisions.
  • Unwise decisions – just because an individual makes what might be seen as an unwise decision, they should not be treated as lacking capacity to make that decision.
  • Best interests – an act done or decision made under the Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done in their best interests.
  • Least restrictive option – anything done for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.
  1. It must also be borne in mind that consideration of capacity is specific to both the decision to be made and the time that it is made, i.e. the fact that a person may be considered to lack capacity to make a particular decision should not be used as a reason to consider that they cannot make any decisions. Equally, the fact that a person lacks capacity to make a specific decision on a given date should not be a reason to assume that they necessarily lack capacity to make a similar decision on another date.
  2. If the person lacks the mental capacity to either refuse or to consent, a ‘best interests’ decision should be taken (and recorded) as to whether or not to proceed with assessment of eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare. Those making this decision should bear in mind the expectation that all who are potentially eligible for NHS continuing healthcare should have the opportunity to be considered for eligibility (see paragraph’s 48 – 51 in the National Framework). A third party cannot give or refuse consent for an assessment for NHS continuing healthcare on behalf of a person who lacks capacity unless they have a valid and applicable Lasting Power of Attorney (Welfare) or they have been appointed a Welfare Deputy by the Court of Protection. Any best interest decision to complete an assessment should be made in compliance with the Mental Capacity Act, e.g. with regard to consultation with relevant third parties.
  1. It is important to be aware that the fact that an individual may have significant difficulties in expressing their views does not of itself mean that they lack capacity. Appropriate support and adjustments should be made available in compliance with the Mental Capacity Act and with equalities legislation.
  2. Robust data-sharing protocols, both within an organisation and between organisations, will help to ensure that confidentiality is respected but that all necessary information is available to complete the DST.
  3. The DST provides practitioners with a needs-led approach by portraying need based on 12 ‘care domains’ (including an open domain for needs that do not readily fit into the other 11). The tool is in three sections:
  • Section 1 – Personal information.
  • Section 2 – Care domains.
  • Section 3 – Recommendations.

All sections need to be completed.

A copy of the completed DST (including the recommendation) should be forwarded to the individual (or, where appropriate, their representative) together with the final decision made by the CCG, along with the reasons for this decision. + Note from Framework (12In this Framework the term representative is intended to include any friend, unpaid carer or family member who is supporting the individual in the process as well as anyone acting in a more formal capacity (e.g. welfare deputy or power of attorney, or an organisation representing the individual).

21. Each domain is subdivided into statements of need representing no needs (‘N’ in the table below), low (L), moderate (M), high (H), severe (S) or priority (P) levels of need, depending on the domain (see Figure 1). The table below sets out the full range of the domains. The detailed descriptors of them are set out in the 12 domain tables for completion later in this document.

(CHART HERE)

  1. The descriptions in the DST are examples of the types of need that may be present. They should be carefully considered but may not always adequately describe every individual’s circumstances. The MDT should first determine and record the extent and type of need in the space provided. The descriptions may not always exactly describe the individual’s needs so if there is difficulty in placing their needs in one or other of the levels, the MDT should use professional judgement based on consideration of all the evidence to decide the most appropriate level. If, after considering all the relevant evidence, it proves difficult to decide or agree on the level, the MDT should choose the higher of the levels under consideration and record the evidence in relation to both the decision and any significant differences of opinion. Please do not record an individual as having needs between levels. It is important that differences of opinion on the appropriate level are based on the evidence available and not on presuppositions about a person’s need or generalised assumptions about the effects of a particular condition.
  2. It is important that the wording of domain levels is carefully considered and assumptions are not made. The fact that an individual has a condition that is described as ‘severe’ does not necessarily mean that they should be placed on the ‘severe’ level of the relevant domain. It is the domain level whose description most closely fits their needs that should be selected (for example, the fact that a person is described as having ‘severe’ learning disabilities does not automatically mean that they should be placed on the ‘severe’ level of the Cognition domain).
  3. The fast-track process should always be used for any individual with a rapidly deteriorating condition that may be entering a terminal phase. For other individuals who have a more slowly deteriorating condition and for whom it can reasonably be anticipated that their needs are therefore likely to increase in the near future, the domain levels selected should be based on current needs but the likely change in needs should be recorded in the evidence box for that domain and taken into account in the recommendation made. This could mean that a decision is made that they should be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare immediately (i.e. before the deterioration has actually taken place) or, if not, that a date is given for an early review of their needs and possible eligibility. Professional judgement based on knowledge of the likely progression of the condition should determine which option is followed.
  4. It should be remembered that the DST is a record of needs and a single condition might give rise to separate needs in a number of domains. For example someone with cognitive impairment will have a weighting in the cognition domain and as a result may have associated needs in other domains, all of which should be recorded and weighted in their own right.
  5. Some domains include levels of need that are so great that they could reach the ‘priority’ level (which would indicate a primary health need), but others do not. This is because the needs in some care domains are considered never to reach a level at which they on their own should trigger eligibility; rather they would form part of a range of needs which together could constitute a primary health need.
  1. Within each domain there is space to justify why a particular level is appropriate, based on the available evidence about the assessed needs. It is important that needs are described in measurable terms, using clinical expertise, and supported with the results from appropriate and validated assessment tools where relevant.
  2. Needs should not be marginalised because they are successfully managed. Well-managed needs are still needs. Only where the successful management of a healthcare need has permanently reduced or removed an ongoing need will this have a bearing on NHS continuing healthcare eligibility. However, there are different ways of reflecting this principle when completing the DST. For example, where psychological or similar interventions are successfully addressing behavioural issues, consideration should be given as to the present-day need if that support were withdrawn or no longer available and this should be reflected in the Behaviour domain.
  3. It is not intended that this principle should be applied in such a way that well-controlled physical health conditions should be recorded as if medication or other routine care or support was not present. For example, where needs are being managed via medication (whether for behaviour or for physical health needs), it may be more appropriate to reflect this in the Drug Therapies and Medication domain. Similarly, where someone’s skin condition is not aggravated by their incontinence because they are receiving good continence care, it would not be appropriate to weight the skin domain as if the continence care was not being provided
  4. There may be circumstances where an individual may have particular needs that are not covered by the first 11 defined care domains within the DST. In this situation, it is the responsibility of the assessors to determine and record the extent and type of the needs in the “additional” 12th domain provided entitled ‘Other Significant Care Needs’ and take this into account when deciding whether a person has a primary health need. The severity of the need should be weighted in a similar way (i.e. from ‘Low’ to ‘Severe’) to the other domains using professional judgement and then taken into account when deciding whether a person has a primary health need. It is important that the agreed level is consistent with the levels set out in the other domains. The availability of this domain should not be used to inappropriately affect the overall decision on eligibility.

Establishing a Primary Health Need

  1. At the end of the DST, there is a summary sheet to provide an overview of the levels chosen and a summary of the person’s needs, along with the MDT’s recommendation about eligibility or ineligibility. A clear recommendation of eligibility to NHS continuing healthcare would be expected in each of the following cases:
  • A level of priority needs in any one of the four domains that carry this level
  • A total of two or more incidences of identified severe needs across all care domains.

Where there is:

  • one domain recorded as severe, together with needs in a number of other domains, or
  • a number of domains with high and/or moderate needs,

this may also, depending on the combination of needs, indicate a primary health need and therefore careful consideration needs to be given to the eligibility decision and clear reasons recorded if the decision is that the person does not have a primary health need.

In all cases, the overall need, the interactions between needs in different care domains, and the evidence from risk assessments should be taken into account in deciding whether a recommendation of eligibility for NHS continuing healthcare should be made. It is not possible to equate a number of incidences of one level with a number of incidences of another level, as in, for example ‘two moderates equals one high’. The judgement whether someone has a primary health need must be based on what the evidence indicates about the nature and/or complexity and/or intensity and/or unpredictability of the individual’s needs.

  1. MDTs are reminded of the need to consider the limits of local authority responsibility when making a Primary Health Need recommendation (see paragraph xxx of the National Framework for Continuing Healthcare).
  2. If needs in all domains are recorded as ‘no need’, this would indicate ineligibility. Where all domains are recorded as ‘low need’, this would be unlikely to indicate eligibility. However, because low needs can add to the overall picture, influence the continuity of care necessary, and alter the impact that other needs have on the individual, all domains should be completed.
  3. The coordinator should ensure that all parts of the DST have been completed, including the MDT’s recommendation on eligibility (agreed/signed by MDT members), and forward it to the CCG for decision making. The coordinator should also advise the individual of the timescales for decision making (i.e. normally within 28 days). In doing this, they should also check whether there is a need for urgent and/or interim support and liaise with the CCG and local authority to ensure that this is put in place where appropriate. The National Framework guidance gives further details on the actions to be taken.
  4. The equality monitoring data form should be completed by the individual who is the subject of the DST, but not if one has already been completed at Checklist stage and only if the individual agrees to this. Where the individual needs support to complete the form, this should be arranged by the CCG co-ordinator. The co-ordinator should forward the data form to the appropriate location, in accordance with the relevant CCG’s processes for processing equality data.

Page 17 onwards contains the DST itself.

Section 1 – Personal Details eg:

  • Please ensure that the equality monitoring form at the end of the DST is completed
  • Was the individual involved in the completion of the DST? Yes/No (please delete as appropriate)
  • Was the individual offered the opportunity to have a representative such as a family member or other advocate present when the DST was completed? Yes/No (please delete as appropriate)
  • If yes, did the representative attend the completion of the DST?
    Yes/No (please delete as appropriate)
  • Please give the contact details of the representative (name, address and telephone number)

Summary (page 18) Summary pen portrait of the individual’s situation, relevant history and current needs, including clinical summary and identified significant risks, drawn from the multidisciplinary assessment:

Individual’s view of their care needs and whether they consider that the multidisciplinary assessment accurately reflects these:

Page 19: Please note below whether and how the individual (or their representative) contributed to the assessment of their needs. If they were not involved, please record whether they were not invited or whether they declined to participate.

Please list the assessments and other key evidence that were taken into account in completing the DST, including the dates of the assessments:

Page 20: Assessors’ (including MDT members) name/address/contact details noting lead coordinator:

Contact details of GP and other key professionals involved in the care of the individual:

Page 21:

Section 2 – Care Domains

Please refer to the user notes

1. Behaviour: Human behaviour is complex, hard to categorise, and may be difficult to manage. Challenging behaviour in this domain includes but is not limited to:

  • aggression, violence or passive non-aggressive behaviour
  • severe disinhibition
  • intractable noisiness or restlessness
  • resistance to necessary care and treatment (this may therefore include non-concordance and non-compliance, but see note below)
  • severe fluctuations in mental state
  • extreme frustration associated with communication difficulties
  • inappropriate interference with others
  • identified high risk of suicide

The assessment of needs of an individual with serious behavioural issues should include specific consideration of the risk(s) to themselves, others or property with particular attention to aggression, self-harm and self-neglect and any other behaviour(s), irrespective of their living environment.

  • 1. Describe the actual needs of the individual, including any episodic needs. Provide the evidence that informs the decision overleaf on which level is appropriate, such as the times and situations when the behaviour to likely to be performed across a range of typical daily routines and the frequency, duration and impact of the behaviour.
  • 2. Note any overlap with other domains.
  • 3. Circle the assessed level overleaf.
Description  Level of need 
No evidence of ‘challenging’ behaviour. No needs
Some incidents of ‘challenging’ behaviour. A risk assessment indicates that the behaviour does not pose a risk to self, others or property or a barrier to intervention. The person is compliant with all aspects of their care. Low 
‘Challenging’ behaviour that follows a predictable pattern. The risk assessment indicates a pattern of behaviour that can be managed by skilled carers or care workers who are able to maintain a level of behaviour that does not pose a risk to self, others or property. The person is nearly always compliant with care. Moderate 
’Challenging’ behaviour that poses a predictable risk to self, others or property. The risk assessment indicates that planned interventions are effective in minimising but not always eliminating risks. Compliance is variable but usually responsive to planned interventions. High 
‘Challenging’ behaviour of severity and/or frequency that poses a significant risk to self, others or property. The risk assessment identifies that the behaviour(s) require(s) a prompt and skilled response that might be outside the range of planned interventions. Severe 
‘Challenging’ behaviour of a severity and/or frequency and/or unpredictability that presents an immediate and serious risk to self, others or property. The risks are so serious that they require access to an immediate and skilled response at all times for safe care. Priority 

 

Page 23:

2. Cognition: This may apply to, but is not limited to, individuals with learning disability and/or acquired and degenerative disorders. Where cognitive impairment is identified in the assessment of need, active consideration should be given to referral to an appropriate specialist if one is not already involved. A key consideration in determining the level of need under this domain is making a professional judgement about the degree of risk to the individual.

Please refer to the National Framework guidance about the need to apply the principles of the Mental Capacity Act in every case where there is a question about a person’s capacity. The principles of the Act should also be applied to all considerations of the individual’s ability to make decisions and choices.

  • 1. Describe the actual needs of the individual (including episodic and fluctuating needs), providing the evidence that informs the decision overleaf on which level is appropriate, including the frequency and intensity of need, unpredictability, deterioration and any instability.
  • 2. Where cognitive impairment has an impact on behaviour, take this into account in the behaviour domain, so that the interaction between the two domains is clear.
  • 3. Circle the assessed level overleaf.

Page 25:

No evidence of impairment, confusion or disorientation.           No needs

Cognitive impairment which requires some supervision, prompting or assistance with more complex activities of daily living, such as finance and medication, but awareness of basic risks that affect their safety is evident.

OR

Occasional difficulty with memory and decisions/choices requiring support, prompting or assistance. However, the individual has insight into their impairment.Low

Cognitive impairment (which may include some memory issues) that requires some supervision, prompting and/or assistance with basic care needs and daily living activities. Some awareness of needs and basic risks is evident. The individual is usually able to make choices appropriate to needs with assistance. However, the individual has limited ability even with supervision, prompting or assistance to make decisions about some aspects of their lives, which consequently puts them at some risk of harm, neglect or health deterioration.  Moderate

Cognitive impairment that could include frequent short-term memory issues and maybe disorientation to time and place. The individual has awareness of only a limited range of needs and basic risks. Although they may be able to make some choices appropriate to need on a limited range of issues they are unable to consistently do so on most issues, even with supervision, prompting or assistance. The individual finds it difficult even with supervision, prompting or assistance to make decisions about key aspects of their lives, which consequently puts them at high risk of harm, neglect or health deterioration.          High

Cognitive impairment that may, for example, include, marked short-term memory issues, problems with long-term memory or severe disorientation to time, place or person.

The individual is unable to assess basic risks even with supervision, prompting or assistance, and is dependent on others to anticipate their basic needs and to protect them from harm, neglect or health deterioration. Severe

Page 26:

3. Psychological and Emotional Needs: There should be evidence of considering psychological needs and their impact on the individual’s health and well-being, irrespective of their underlying condition. Use this domain to record the individual’s psychological and emotional needs and how they contribute to the overall care needs, noting the underlying causes. Where the individual is unable to express their psychological/emotional needs (even with appropriate support) due to the nature of their overall needs (which may include cognitive impairment), this should be recorded and a professional judgement made based on the overall evidence and knowledge of the individual.

  • 1. Describe the actual needs of the individual, providing the evidence that informs the decision overleaf on which level is appropriate, including the frequency and intensity of need, unpredictability, deterioration and any instability.
  • 2. Circle the assessed level overleaf.

 

Description Level of need 
Psychological and emotional needs are not having an impact on their health and well-being. No needs 
Mood disturbance, hallucinations or anxiety symptoms, or periods of distress, which are having an impact on their health and/or well-being but respond to prompts and reassurance.ORRequires prompts to motivate self towards activity and to engage them in care planning, support, and/or daily activities. Low
Mood disturbance, hallucinations or anxiety symptoms, or periods of distress, which do not readily respond to prompts and reassurance and have an increasing impact on the individual’s health and/or well-being.ORDue to their psychological or emotional state the individual has withdrawn from most attempts to engage them in care planning, support and/or daily activities. Moderate 
Mood disturbance, hallucinations or anxiety symptoms, or periods of distress, that have a severe impact on the individual’s health and/or well-being.ORDue to their psychological or emotional state the individual has withdrawn from any attempts to engage them in care planning, support and/or daily activities High

Page 29: 4. Communication: This section relates to difficulties with expression and understanding, in particular with regard to communicating needs. An individual’s ability or otherwise to communicate their needs may well have an impact both on the overall assessment and on the provision of care. Consideration should always be given to whether the individual requires assistance with communication, for example through an interpreter, use of pictures, sign language, use of Braille, hearing aids, or other communication technology

Able to communicate clearly, verbally or non-verbally. Has a good understanding of their primary language. May require translation if English is not their first language.           No needs

Needs assistance to communicate their needs. Special effort may be needed to ensure accurate interpretation of needs or additional support may be needed either visually, through touch or with hearing.           Low

Communication about needs is difficult to understand or interpret or the individual is sometimes unable to reliably communicate, even when assisted. Carers or care workers may be able to anticipate needs through non-verbal signs due to familiarity with the individual.       Moderate

Unable to reliably communicate their needs at any time and in any way, even when all practicable steps to assist them have been taken. The person has to have most of their needs anticipated because of their inability to communicate them.           High

Page 32: 5. Mobility: This section considers individuals with impaired mobility. Please take other mobility issues such as wanderinginto account in the behaviour domain where relevant. Where mobility problems are indicated, an up-to-date Moving and Handling and Falls Risk Assessment should exist or have been undertaken as part of the assessment process (in line with section 6.14 of the National Service Framework for Older People, 2001), and the impact and likelihood of any risk factors considered. It is important to note that the use of the word ‘high’ in any particular falls risk assessment tool does not necessarily equate to a high level need in this domain.

Page 33:

Independently mobile           No needs

Able to weight bear but needs some assistance and/or requires mobility equipment for daily living.           Low

Not able to consistently weight bear.

OR

Completely unable to weight bear but is able to assist or cooperate with transfers and/or repositioning.

OR

In one position (bed or chair) for the majority of time but is able to cooperate and assist carers or care workers.

OR

At moderate risk of falls (as evidenced in a falls history or risk assessment)   Moderate

Completely unable to weight bear and is unable to assist or cooperate with transfers and/or repositioning.

OR

Due to risk of physical harm or loss of muscle tone or pain on movement needs careful positioning and is unable to cooperate.

OR

At a high risk of falls (as evidenced in a falls history and risk assessment).

OR

Involuntary spasms or contractures placing the individual or others at risk.      High

Completely immobile and/or clinical condition such that, in either case, on movement or transfer there is a high risk of serious physical harm and where the positioning is critical.         Severe

 

6. Nutrition – Food and Drink: Individuals at risk of malnutrition, dehydration and/or aspiration should either have an existing assessment of these needs or have had one carried out as part of the assessment process with any management and risk factors supported by a management plan. Where an individual has significant weight loss or gain, professional judgement should be used to consider what the trajectory of weight loss or gain is telling us about the individual’s nutritional status.

Able to take adequate food and drink by mouth to meet all nutritional requirements. No needs

Needs supervision, prompting with meals, or may need feeding and/or a special diet.

OR

Able to take food and drink by mouth but requires additional/supplementary feeding.

Low

Needs feeding to ensure adequate intake of food and takes a long time (half an hour or more), including liquidised feed.

OR

Unable to take any food and drink by mouth, but all nutritional requirements are being adequately maintained by artificial means, for example via a non-problematic PEG. Moderate

Dysphagia requiring skilled intervention to ensure adequate nutrition/hydration and minimise the risk of choking and aspiration to maintain airway.

OR

Subcutaneous fluids that are managed by the individual or specifically trained carers or care workers.

OR

Nutritional status “at risk” and may be associated with unintended, significant weight loss.

OR

Significant weight loss or gain due to identified eating disorder.

OR

Problems relating to a feeding device (for example PEG.) that require skilled assessment and review.

High

Unable to take food and drink by mouth. All nutritional requirements taken by artificial means requiring ongoing skilled professional intervention or monitoring over a 24 hour period to ensure nutrition/hydration, for example I.V. fluids.

OR

Unable to take food and drink by mouth, intervention inappropriate or impossible. Severe

Page 36:

7. Continence: Where continence problems are identified, a full continence assessment exists or has been undertaken as part of the assessment process, any underlying conditions identified, and the impact and likelihood of any risk factors evaluated.

  • 1. Describe the actual needs of the individual, providing the evidence that informs the decision overleaf on which level is appropriate, including the frequency and intensity of need, unpredictability, deterioration and any instability.
  • 2. Take into account any aspect of continence care associated with behaviour in the Behaviour domain.
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