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Revise plans to take account of changing circumstances


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

We have previously discussed the importance of creating an operational plan and setting priorities. For this assessment criterion, you will be required to demonstrate that you are able to adjust your work plans to take account of changes in operational circumstances. Some of the situations that may disrupt operational plans are explored below.


Staff absence and sickness


There will be times when team members call in sick or have an emergency and are unable to attend their shift. As a manager, it will be your responsibility to arrange for the team member’s shifts to be covered to maintain seamless service delivery.

This may mean asking other members of the team if they can help (ensuring that the additional hours are both lawful and not detrimental to the team member’s wellbeing) or contacting an agency to provide cover.


You should be self-aware of your own feelings when you get a call from a team member to say that they are unable to come to work. You may initially feel upset or angry at this unexpected change, however, you should remind yourself that the team member has given you notice and followed the correct procedure. Being able to manage change in a calm and collected manner will help you to handle the situation quickly and efficiently.

Where there is a long-term absence, you will need to assess the need for a long-term replacement. Will you use agency staff or start a recruitment campaign? Perhaps, if you are closing a service in the near future, the staff member will not need to be replaced as a priority.


Needs and challenges presented by individuals in receipt of care and support

The needs of individuals that are receiving care and support services will change over time. Sometimes, you will be able to meticulously plan for these changes and sometimes they will be unexpected.


For example, if a service user is hospitalised, the staff that were supporting them may not be needed until they return home. Therefore, you will be required to reallocate resources to ensure that all team members get their contracted hours. Conversely, if the needs assessment of the individual’s return home means that they will now require 2:1 support rather 1:1, you may need to employ additional staff.

Unscheduled and unexpected demand from others – internal and external


Although we may have our day/week/month planned out, the nature of working in health and social care means that our plans will often be interrupted by unscheduled and unexpected demands. We have looked at unexpected changes to staffing and service user needs above. We may also get unexpected demands from others.

For example, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) may give you 48 hours’ notice of an inspection visit and as the registered manager, you will need to reschedule plans for that day to accommodate them. Or, you may have received a complaint from a service user or a concern from a team member that must be handled as a priority.

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