June 12, 2023

Principles of Person-Centred Care

Table of contents

Person-centred care, or the practice of prioritising individuals and their unique needs, has emerged as a fundamental approach in health and social care in the past 30 years. 

By understanding the four principles underlying person-centred care, and how it benefits those involved, it becomes easy to see why this philosophy has become such a cornerstone of how care is delivered. 

However, for many care providers around the UK, it’s not as simple as just putting person-centred care into practice; there are certain challenges faced in adopting person-centred care, and practical solutions are required to make it acheiveable.

This post will cover all of this and more!

What are the 4 principles of person-centred care?

Person-centred care is based on four core principles that prioritise the well-being and individual needs of care recipients. 

These principles, as outlined in the NHS Constitution and patient charters and strategies across the four UK countries, form the foundation of person-centred care:

Affording people compassion, dignity, and respect

The first principle emphasises the fundamental rights of individuals to be treated with compassion, dignity, and respect. It recognizes that every person, regardless of their health condition, deserves to be treated as an individual and with empathy. This principle forms the bedrock of person-centred care and sets the tone for all interactions between healthcare professionals and patients within the UK domiciliary care industry.

Offering coordinated care, support, or treatment

The second principle highlights the importance of providing coordinated care, support, or treatment, especially for individuals who require multiple services or who are transitioning between different parts of the health and social care system. Coordination ensures seamless transitions, minimising gaps in care and facilitating smooth communication and collaboration between healthcare providers. By integrating services, patients can experience a more holistic and efficient care journey.

Offering personalised care, support, or treatment

The third principle recognizes that each person is unique, with their own emotional, social, and practical needs. Person-centred care focuses on treating the individual as a whole, taking into account their personal preferences, values, and circumstances, rather than merely focusing on their medical conditions or symptoms. This principle encourages healthcare professionals in the UK domiciliary care industry to engage in active listening, involving patients and their carers in decision-making, and tailoring care plans to suit their specific needs.


The fourth principle of person-centred care revolves around supporting individuals to recognize and develop their own strengths and abilities. It aims to empower patients to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Enabling individuals involves fostering self-management skills, promoting shared decision-making, and providing resources and support to help patients take control of their health and well-being. By recognizing and nurturing patients' capabilities, the UK domiciliary care industry can contribute to the overall empowerment and autonomy of individuals.

These four principles of person-centred care form a comprehensive framework that prioritises the holistic well-being and individuality of patients. By embodying these principles, the UK domiciliary care industry come closer to creating a care environment that fosters compassion, dignity, and respect, while delivering coordinated, personalised, and enabling care, support, or treatment to each individual.

Why are these principles important for person-centred care?

The principles underlying person-centred care are of utmost importance in health and social care for several reasons. 

Firstly, by upholding these four principles, health and social care professionals create a caring and empathetic environment that promotes trust, emotional well-being, and a sense of value for care recipients; and in doing that, health outcomes are understood to be vastly improved.

The principle of offering coordinated care, support, or treatment addresses the needs of individuals who require multiple services or transition between different parts of the health and social care system. 

By ensuring effective coordination, health and social care providers can prevent fragmented care and improve the overall continuity and efficiency of services. 

This leads to smoother transitions, reduced confusion, and a more streamlined care experience for care recipients.

Personalised care, support, or treatment is a crucial principle that treats individuals as human beings, taking into account their emotional, social, and practical needs, as well as those of their carers. 

By understanding and considering the unique circumstances and preferences of each person, health and social care professionals can deliver tailored care that respects their individuality. 

This approach enhances patient and client satisfaction, engagement, and overall well-being.

Enabling individuals to recognise and develop their own strengths and abilities is incredibly empowering. 

By encouraging self-management and shared decision-making, health and social care professionals foster a sense of autonomy and independence among patients. 

This principle empowers individuals to take an active role in their own care journey, promoting better health outcomes, increased self-confidence, and improved overall quality of life.

Together, these principles contribute to a comprehensive and patient-centred approach to care within the UK. 

By recognising the significance of compassion, dignity, and respect, promoting coordinated care, providing personalised support, and enabling individuals, healthcare providers can deliver a more holistic and effective care experience. 

Embracing these principles not only enhances client satisfaction and well-being but also ensures that care is delivered in a manner that aligns with ethical and legal obligations, promoting a culture of excellence across care delivery.

Person-centered care benefits both the client and the care professional!

Challenges and Solutions in Implementing Person-Centred Care

Despite the many benefits, implementing person-centred care is not a simple thing to do! However, recognizing the potential challenges makes it easier to come up with simple solutions that support everyone involved.

Time Constraints

All care professionals, but especially those working in domiciliary care, often face time constraints due to high caseloads and demanding schedules. 

To overcome this challenge, organisations can invest in training programs that equip care providers with effective time management strategies. 

They can also look into technology partners, like Birdie, to help with the heavy lifting of administrative tasks. This will give the whole team back time for meaningful interactions and person-centred care.

Cultural and Language Barriers

In a diverse society like the UK, cultural and language barriers may impede effective communication and understanding. 

By fostering a culturally competent workforce and providing language support where needed, domiciliary care providers can ensure that service users' values, beliefs, and preferences are respected and understood - and that their care teams feel seen and valued as well.

Staff Training and Education

Implementing person-centred care requires ongoing training and education for domiciliary care staff. 

Organisations should invest in comprehensive training programs that encompass the principles of person-centred care, communication skills, and understanding of diverse needs. 

Continuous professional development ensures that staff members stay updated with best practices and provide quality care. Websites like Skills for Care have an amazing set of resources to support with this!

The principles of person-centred care are vital for enhancing the UK domiciliary care industry.

By respecting autonomy, providing individualised care, fostering collaboration and partnership, and ensuring continuity and coordination, domiciliary care providers can positively impact the lives of service users and their families. 

Recognising and addressing the challenges through proactive solutions allows for the successful implementation of person-centred care, paving the way for improved quality of care, enhanced service user satisfaction, and the fulfilment of ethical and legal obligations.

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