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Home E Featured News E “What matters to me is just as important as what’s the matter with me”

“What matters to me is just as important as what’s the matter with me”

A nurse speaking with an elderly patient

The London Universal Care Plan (UCP) is an NHS service that allows every Londoner to have their care and support wishes digitally shared with health and care professionals across the capital.

It’s a care plan that all health and care professionals across the capital can access online, including GPs and ambulance, hospital, and care home staff.

This means there is a single care plan to follow for each resident or patient, helping to reduce unnecessary interventions and to make sure NHS staff are aware of people’s preferences for care.

London Ambulance Service has recently written to all NHS trusts to encourage UCPs for all frequent callers of 999 and frequent attenders of Emergency Departments. The aim is to make sure that people’s preferences are easily available to urgent care services and to reduce pressure on emergency services where care can safely be provided in other settings.

UCPs are also helpful to London Ambulance Service in providing personalised care in an emergency. The UCP gives people the chance to share important information about their personal network and neighbours that might make all the difference to them in a time of crisis.

In terms of care plans made for NCL residents at the end of their lives, the impact can be clearly seen. Most people prefer to die at home if possible and in September 2023, 70% of NCL residents with UCPs died in their place of residence. Across the NCL population, this figure is usually around 40%.

Currently, there are around 9,000 active UCPs in place across NCL or 0.5% of the population, which is line with the London average. However, there is considerable variation in their use in different NCL organisations.

Patrick Schrijnen, NCL ICB lead for UCPs said: “We are keen to encourage greater use across all health settings including GPs, acute trusts, care homes and community services.

“All London residents can request a UCP by speaking to their GP or practice nurse. It is particularly relevant for people with long term medical conditions which make them likely to need urgent care so I would encourage both organisations and individuals to use this valuable resource.”

Latest developments

The following templates have recently been launched in the London UCP to help create tailored plans: dementia, frailty, personalised Care and Support, and sickle cell.

From January 2024, NCL residents who have a care plan have been able to view their own plan via the NHS App.

More information

For more information please see the London UCP website or contact Patrick Schrijnen, NCL ICB Joint Commissioner – Last Phase of Life on