A person centred practice relates to an approach which ensures that the individual is thought as paramount throughout every decision made and every step taken in regards to their care. This means that if an individual has mental capacity they are to be involved with their care directly, receiving the care they need and want through communication and agreed care plans. If an individual does not have mental capacity they will have an advocate who will make informed decisions about their care and care workers will meet the individuals care needs through the standards of a care plan and ensuring their best interest is taken into consideration throughout.
1. “Being person-centred means affording people dignity, respect and compassion
Whenever someone interacts with health services, they should always be treated with dignity, respect and compassion. These ‘experience standards’ are basic human rights that are enshrined in the NHS Constitution.
2. Being person-centred means offering coordinated care, support or treatment
It’s not just individual encounters that matter – services should offer coordinated care, support or treatment across multiple episodes and over time. Care coordination is particularly crucial when people are moving between services. This means not only through major transitions (e.g. from child services to adolescent services), but through the kinds of transitions that occur all the time, such as a referral from a GP to a specialist service. It is also important, at these times, that there is clarity between providers regarding who is responsible for care coordination; if care is being transferred, is the responsibility for care coordination also being transferred?
3. Being person-centred means offering personalised care, support or treatment
Because we are all different, person-centred care is care that is tailored to the needs and aspirations of each individual, not standardised to their condition. It means that the things that are important to the person receiving care and their family are discussed and form the basis of their treatment and care. NHS Scotland’s Person Centred Collaborative has distilled this principle into five ‘must do with me’ areas.
4. Being person-centred means being enabling
The starting point for being enabling is seeing patients as assets not burdens and seeking to support them to recognise, engage with and develop their own sense of resourcefulness, and to build on their own unique range of capabilities. Being ‘enabling’ means that systems and services orientate themselves towards supporting patients to recognise and build upon their own strengths and/or to recover from setbacks or episodes of ill health so that they can live an independent and fulfilling life.”
The government publication Putting People First: A Shared Vision and Commitment to the transformation of adult social care, 2007, portrayed the personalisation agenda. This was the governments idea of enabling individuals to remain independent with complete control over their lives. The emphasis is to build a system of care and support which is designed with the full involvement of an individual, completely tailored to meet their specifc needs. Therefore, they are able to have their choices, culture, ethnicity and other preferences taken into consideration and respected.
“The term ‘person-centred care’ is now used to describe care which is user focused, promoting independence and autonomy. Collaborative and partnership approaches to care often use the term ‘person-centred’ to describe their ethos (Innes, 2006).”
Tilmouth, Tina. Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care 2nd Edition (p. 229). Hodder Education. Kindle Edition.
Within St. Mary’s all residents or their advocate are involved with their care plans which outline how their care is provided. For example, when detailing an individual’s preferences regarding their personal care, resident X’s care plan includes that they prefer to bath weekly, they do not like to shower. It also details what creams she uses following her bath, and where they are applied. The care plan also includes the routine of how she likes to have her bath, such as that she likes her bath to run while she had the privacy to use the toilet. During this time the carer usually changes her bed linen so when she gets out of the bath her bed is ready to sit on to dress herself, and the carer can leave her to complete this independently. Therefore, through following the individual’s routine we are following her preferences to ensure that we are respecting her independence and privacy.