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What is Person Centred Care?

June 12, 2023
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Person-centred care is a holistic approach that focuses on an individual's needs, preferences, and goals, promoting their independence and well-being. Person-centred care goes beyond simply addressing physical health; it recognises the uniqueness of each person and considers their emotional, social, and psychological aspects. 

In this blog post, we will delve into what person-centred care entails, its significance, the providers involved, the positive impact on health outcomes, and provide examples within the context of NHS and CQC guidelines.

What is Person-Centred Care?

Person-centred care is a philosophy that places the individual at the heart of their care experience. It is an approach that respects and values their autonomy, dignity, and individuality. 

In the UK domiciliary care industry, person-centred care involves tailoring care plans and services to meet the specific needs and preferences of each person. 

It fosters a collaborative relationship between the care provider, the individual, and their support network to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Person-centred care as a concept in health and social care has roots that can be traced back to the mid-20th century. 

The term itself was popularised by the renowned psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Rogers, who introduced the concept of person-centred therapy in the field of psychology.

Rogers emphasised the importance of creating a therapeutic environment that focused on the individual's subjective experience, personal growth, and self-directed change. His approach valued empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness in the therapist-client relationship.

Over time, the principles of person-centred care pioneered by Rogers began to influence other areas of healthcare, including health and social care. 

The concept gained traction in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in the fields of nursing and dementia care, where the individual's needs, preferences, and quality of life were recognized as essential aspects of providing holistic care.

In the United Kingdom, person-centred care became firmly embedded in health and social care policy and practice in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The National Health Service (NHS) and various organisations, such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC), embraced person-centred care as a guiding principle to improve the quality of care delivery.

Since then, person-centred care has continued to evolve and shape the approach to healthcare delivery in the UK and beyond.

 It is now recognised as a fundamental aspect of providing high-quality, patient-centred, and inclusive care across various healthcare settings.

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Why is Person-Centred Care Important?

Person-centred care is essential because it recognises that each person is unique and has individual requirements. 

It empowers individuals to actively participate in decisions about their care, making them partners in the process rather than passive recipients. 

By involving the individual in their care, person-centred approaches promote greater satisfaction, trust, and a sense of control. 

It also leads to more effective care planning, improved adherence to treatment, and better overall health outcomes.

Who Provides Person-Centred Care?

Person-centred care involves a collaborative effort among various healthcare professionals and support networks. In domiciliary care, this care is delivered by a team of dedicated individuals, including:

Care Managers

They oversee the care process, ensuring that it aligns with person-centred principles. They coordinate care plans, monitor progress, and act as a point of contact for individuals and their families.

Care Workers: 

These are the frontline professionals who directly deliver care and support to individuals. They engage in regular interactions, providing assistance with daily living activities, medication management, and emotional support.

Allied Healthcare Professionals: These include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and other specialists who contribute their expertise to enhance the individual's well-being and independence.

Family and Friends: The involvement of a person's family and friends is crucial in person-centred care. Their insight and support help shape care plans, providing a familiar and supportive environment.

How does Person-Centred Care Improve Health Outcomes?

Person-centred care has demonstrated numerous benefits in improving health outcomes! 

When individuals actively participate in decisions about their care, they experience enhanced communication. 

Open dialogue between the care provider and the individual leads to better understanding and communication of needs and preferences. This open and honest communication fosters a stronger therapeutic relationship, ensuring that care aligns with the individual's unique circumstances.

Moreover, person-centred care emphasises the importance of tailored care!

By considering individual preferences, care plans can be personalized to meet specific needs and goals. This customized approach allows for a more effective and meaningful approach to treatment, as it takes into account the individual's values, beliefs, and lifestyle.

Another significant benefit of person-centred care is improved adherence to treatment. Involving individuals in care decisions empowers them to take ownership of their health. When individuals feel respected and included in the decision-making process, they are more likely to adhere to treatment plans. 

This improved adherence leads to better health outcomes and reduced hospital readmissions, as individuals are actively engaged in their own care journey.

Furthermore, person-centred care promotes empowerment and independence. 

By encouraging individuals to take an active role in their health, person-centred care fosters a sense of empowerment, self-management, and independence. Individuals become partners in their care, making informed decisions and actively participating in setting and achieving their health-related goals.

Overall, person-centred care provides a holistic approach that goes beyond addressing physical health. It recognises the importance of communication, tailoring care, improving adherence, and promoting empowerment and independence. By embracing person-centred care principles, healthcare providers can enhance the overall well-being and health outcomes of individuals.

Birdie CEO Max recently visited Michael, who has been receiving care from the brilliant Alina Homecare. Find out what he thinks of homecare (and Birdie!) here (article continues below):

Examples of Person-Centred Care

The following examples highlight the application of person-centred care principles within the UK domiciliary care industry, in line with NHS and CQC guidelines:

  1. Care Planning: Care providers collaborate with individuals to develop personalized care plans that consider their specific needs, goals, and preferences.
  2. Choice and Control: Individuals are offered choices regarding their care options, promoting autonomy and ensuring decisions align with their values and lifestyle.
  3. Dignity and Respect: Care providers prioritize the individual's dignity, treating them with respect, compassion, and cultural sensitivity.
  4. Regular Review and Feedback: Care plans are regularly reviewed and adjusted based on the individual's changing needs and preferences. Open channels of communication allow individuals to provide feedback and be actively involved in decision-making.

Person-centred care is a cornerstone of quality care provision. 

By recognising the unique needs and preferences of individuals, person-centred care promotes better health outcomes, increased satisfaction, and greater empowerment. 

It involves a collaborative approach among care providers, individuals, and their support networks, ensuring that care plans are tailored to the specific requirements of each person. 

By embracing person-centred care principles, the UK domiciliary care industry strives to deliver compassionate and effective care to enhance the well-being and independence of individuals!

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