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Person-centred care: The complete guide

November 9, 2022
Table of contents

This article takes a look at what person-centred care means, why it's so important and how to easily achieve it within your own homecare business!

What does person-centred care mean?

Person-centred care is a personalised, enabling and holistic process that puts the care recipient and their families at the centre and in control of their care. Crucially, it ensures that people are treated with compassion, dignity and respect and takes into account the whole person, not just their symptoms or conditions. Additionally, a person's cultural, ethical and genetic makeup must be taken into account to help avoid stereotypes and to focus completely on the care recipient as an individual. As their preferences or needs change, their care plan should reflect this and act accordingly. 

Why is person-centred care important? 

Person-centred care improves health outcomes from all angles of the care journey, with both mental and physical benefits being seen in care recipients, family members and professional carers themselves. From the carer professional's perspective, it promotes trust, collaboration and involvement between the care professional and care recipient, and allows carer professionals to develop confidence in their ability to do the right thing. The Care Inspectorate engaged with social care staff to understand how person-centred care was being impacted by COVID-19, and how person-centred care could be encouraged. They found that ‘across all settings, there was a sense of shared values and that doing what was right for the individual was the priority. This facilitated a lighter-touch approach to developing new, innovative ideas to keep people well’. Families also benefit from person-centred care too, and having their voices heard during the process is also highly important to themselves and to the care recipient. 

What are the 4 principles of person-centred care?

The Health Foundation has listed 4 principles of person-centred care

1. Affording people dignity, compassion and respect

It’s important to remember that all care recipients have their own thoughts, feelings and preferences. Respecting this contributes to an individual's feeling of empowerment both physically and mentally, encouraging them to be more independent and playing a more significant part in their care journey. 

2. Offering coordinated care, support or treatment

Care should be aligned and coordinated, with all professional carers having access to medical records and legible care plans to ensure clear communication. The use of technology to digitise care plans are integral here, ensuring that records are maintained and shared by all members of a care team. 

Digitalisation can allow a care recipient’s wants and needs to be updated and changed quickly, making communication between professional carers easier and ensuring opportunities for personalization are not missed. There are many types of software that encourage person-centred care, like Birdie, which offers an all-in-one roster, allowing for seamless communication within care agencies and offering the framework for personalised, person centred care. 

3. Offering personalised care, support or treatment 

Personalisation is key to providing the right type of care for each individual, and person-centred care allows care recipients to have the empowerment and freedom to advocate for their own needs and preferences. 

4. Supporting people to recognise and develop their own strengths and abilities to enable them to live an independent and fulfilling life

With care recipients being more empowered, they can take steps to support themselves and be more involved in decision-making, which is useful for both clients who can feel more in control of their care, and also feel less dependent on the care they are receiving. 


What is a person-centred approach? 

A person-centred approach allows for the care recipient and their families to effectively feel more in control of their care, allowing for an individualised, personal approach. Care professionals make decisions with clients, not for them, allowing trust and respect to build the relationship which makes the situation easier for both parties. At the core of a person-centred approach, the goal is to ensure that clients can be empowered to feel independent and voice their opinions and preferences when it comes to ensuring their physical, emotional and mental well-being are being met.

Find out how one of Birdie's key partners, Alina Homecare, prioritises person centred care here...

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