What Is Person-Centred Care?

The person-centred care approach appreciates the individuality of people seeking care and understands their diverse needs and preferences. Person-centred care customises healthcare experiences to align with the individual’s needs, wants and preferences, which requires active listening, adaptable care planning, and solid respect for the ever-changing needs of the individual. By placing the person at the core of their care and journey, this approach not only respects their autonomy, values, and priorities but also maintains their integral role in decision-making and goal-setting.

Person-centred care transforms traditional healthcare by advocating for a partnership between healthcare professionals and individuals. This partnership is grounded in collaboration, shared decision-making, and mutual understanding. Health professionals play a vital role in equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to actively engage in and manage their health. This collaborative approach empowers individuals to contribute meaningfully to decisions about their treatment and care pathways, therefore improving their overall experience and outcomes.

Person-centred care requires integration across all healthcare processes. This involves assessing individual preferences and incorporating these preferences into the formulation of care goals and plans. A pivotal step for healthcare providers in implementing person-centred care is gaining a profound grasp of methods to deliver quality care, and aligning care services with established regulatory frameworks, such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – an independent authority overseeing health and social care standards.

Person-Centred Care vs Patient-Centred Care

Person-centred care and patient-centred care, although similar in terminology, carry distinct connotations and implications. Person-centred care, often linked with terms like user-centred care, personalised care, and relationship-centred care, revolves around comprehensively understanding an individual’s preferences, well-being, and broader social context. This approach emphasises a holistic perspective, placing the individual at the core of decision-making.

In contrast, patient-centred care is more narrowly focused on the individual seeking care, often referred to as the patient. It involves tailoring healthcare to the individual’s needs and expectations, improving the clinical encounter while potentially neglecting the broader social and community aspects of health.

However, the concept of person-centred care, or people-centred care, expands further. It promotes a collaborative effort of individuals, families, carers, communities, and society. Each participant’s contributions are equally valued, ensuring a coordinated effort in delivering healthcare services. By utilising the term “people” or “person” instead of “patient,” this approach highlights the multidimensionality of individuals, avoiding reduction to their medical conditions and recognising their unique preferences, needs, and capacities.

Person-Centred Approach in Health and Social Care

Implementing a person-centred approach in health and social care involves transformative shifts in service delivery, roles, and relationships among stakeholders, including healthcare professionals and individuals. Since person-centred care has emerged in many services and sectors, such as health, social care, local authorities, and housing, its implementation requires intensive effort from different stakeholders. The process involves cultivating a workforce and community with the behaviours, skills, and competencies essential for promoting health and wellbeing outcomes and practising person-centred approaches.

Research suggests that the collaborative efforts promoted with the person-centred approach improve individual outcomes and are cost-effective for healthcare systems. A person-centred approach involves an educational and training framework that defines the essence of being person-centred and offers guidance on developing and supporting a workforce aligned with this philosophy. Ultimately, whether integrated on a small or large scale, the person-centred approach can significantly improve individuals’ quality of life and care.

Why Is Person-Centred Care So Important?

Person-centred care holds significant importance for both individuals and healthcare professionals. From the individual’s perspective, this approach fosters a sense of comfort and confidence in the healthcare service, building mutual respect and trust between individuals and healthcare professionals. By maintaining individuals’ dignity and independence, person-centred care meets their emotional, social, and practical needs and actively empowers them to participate in decisions about their care and treatment. This engagement improves their sense of independence, raises their satisfaction with care, and encourages them to adopt positive health behaviours, resulting in better health outcomes.

From a healthcare perspective, person-centred care improves services by fostering a more profound understanding of an individual’s condition and treatment plans. This mitigates unnecessary costs and the overutilisation of emergency services, allowing valuable resources and services to be channelled towards those who truly require them. A person-centred approach improves overall efficiency and uplifts healthcare professionals’ morale, fulfilment, and job satisfaction. Ultimately, this positive shift reflects in delivering more effective and compassionate care.

Person-Centred Care in Practice

Implementing person-centred care effectively across the entire healthcare system remains a significant challenge. This transformative shift requires reconfiguring services and roles to harmonise with the core principles of individualised care.

Initiatives aimed at fostering person-centred care in healthcare encompass a diverse array of approaches. These initiatives are designed to inspire and provide practical guidance for professionals who are dedicated to embedding person-centred care into their practice. By fostering collaboration, engaging individuals actively in their care journey, and developing tailored care strategies, healthcare systems can gradually transition toward a model that acknowledges the unique needs of each individual and elevates the overall healthcare experience and improved health outcomes.

Explore one of the Nurseline Community Services impact stories showcasing how we embrace person-centred care in practice.

Training Clinicians to Apply Person-Centred Approach

Training clinicians to apply a person-centred approach is vital to transforming healthcare practices and improving individual experiences. Implementing person-centred care demands a comprehensive behavioural shift within the workforce. Developing capabilities must be backed with supportive processes, systems, opportunities, and relevant incentives that motivate and engage healthcare professionals.

Nurseline Community Services has taken a comprehensive and structured approach to training its clinicians on person-centred care, ensuring that they understand and embody the principles of this approach in their daily work. Clinicians are educated on understanding person-centred values and putting them into practice in day-to-day interactions with individuals they support, particularly in upholding dignity and respect. Also, clinicians are guided on the importance of uncovering an individual’s history, preferences, and needs while incorporating them into care and support plans. Throughout the training, the emphasis remains on fostering individual identity, self-esteem, and emotional well-being.

By adopting this comprehensive training approach, Nurseline Community Services ensures its clinicians and nurses are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and mindset to provide truly person-centred care for the individuals they support.

Principles of Person-Centred Care

The principles of person-centred care include four key elements that collectively guide healthcare providers towards delivering holistic and individualised care. Those principles are the following:

Providing Dignity, Compassion, and Respect: By acknowledging that everyone possesses their own thoughts, feelings, opinions, and needs, healthcare professionals can empower individuals through collaboration and autonomy. This principle preserves dignity and encourages increased independence, treating individuals with compassion and empathy, leading to better outcomes aligned with their care plan. 

Offering Coordinated Care: Coordinated care, support, or treatment ensures that the various components of an individual’s care journey align seamlessly. Effective communication among healthcare professionals, accurate care plans, and shared records facilitate an incorporated understanding of the individual’s requirements. Technology can be pivotal in digitising records and creating automated workflows, enabling efficient information sharing among the care team and promoting personalised care delivery.

Delivering Personalised Care: Personalisation lies at the core of person-centred care. Recognising that what works for one individual may not be suitable for another, healthcare providers need to tailor their services to the individual needs and preferences of each care recipient. This principle acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual’s circumstances, values, and goals. 

Supporting Strengths and Abilities: Encouraging individuals to recognise, manage and develop their strengths and abilities is a cornerstone of person-centred care. By involving individuals in decision-making and enabling them to take actions to support themselves, healthcare providers foster independence and self-sufficiency.

Benefits of Person-Centred Care

Person-centred care benefits individuals, their families, and healthcare professionals. There are a range of benefits, including:

  • Flexibility: Care is uniquely tailored to individual preferences and needs, the one-size-fits-all approach of healthcare is replaced by a personalised strategy that considers every individual’s requirements and preferences.
  • Responsibility: Individuals actively participate in their care experience, increasing engagement and emotional investment in their well-being. Healthcare professionals feel responsible and empowered to ensure individuals receive positive outcomes and a better quality of life.
  • Autonomy: People engaged in health decisions tend to develop a greater awareness of their preferences and lifestyle choices. This awareness leads to healthier behaviours and an improved understanding of their well-being.
  • Alignment: Including individuals in decision-making ensures that their care plans align with their specific needs, creating a sense of ownership and ensuring their care is tailored to their unique circumstances.
  • Independence: Person-centred care increases independence and confidence, promoting a fulfilled life.

Adopting this approach also benefits healthcare professionals, including a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Witnessing how personalised strategies and their support positively affect individuals’ well-being and recovery boosts job satisfaction. Furthermore, shifting from a patient-centred to a person-centred outlook fosters improved relationships between caregivers and individuals, leading to a more positive and collaborative working environment.

The Potential for People-Centred Care to Transform Healthcare

Traditional healthcare models have often focused on diagnoses and treatments and, in many cases, overlooked the individuality of care recipients. On the other hand, people-centred care places the individual at the forefront, recognising their unique preferences, values, and needs. By embracing this approach, healthcare providers can establish stronger partnerships with individuals, improving health outcomes.

One of the significant aspects of people-centred care is its emphasis on shared decision-making. In this model, healthcare professionals collaborate closely with individuals, considering their perspectives and involving them in the decision-making process regarding their treatment plans. Healthcare professionals treat individuals with respect and dignity, ensuring that treatments are aligned with their goals and values.

Nurseline Community Services Promotes a Person-Centred Care Approach

Nurseline Community Services is committed to delivering person-centred care that recognises the unique needs of each individual. Our approach to developing treatment plans considers an individual’s ambitions, preferences, and needs.

The dedication of our clinicians empowers individuals to achieve positive outcomes, fostering them to lead lives of fulfilment and purpose within their communities. With our person-centred care, individuals are always treated with respect and dignity.

To learn more about our services and person-centred care, we invite you to visit our offices in Bristol, Birmingham, or Gloucester.

Contact us today for more information.