In September 2013 I attended the annual conference of the British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology held in Brighton. In between bracing walks along the seafront and enjoying Brighton’s great restaurant scene there was much food for thought from the speakers and workshops.
Person-centred care has a strong presence in the general health care agenda at the moment, and rightly so, in my opinion. As a way of designing, organising and delivering care, it is radically different from a traditional healthcare model, which often involves long established hierarchies and a power imbalance between those providing and those receiving care.
Patient engagement is much talked about. Thankfully. However, casting my mind back 20 years when organising The King’s Fund’s Promoting Patient Choice conference, I recall having no difficulty in finding two doctors to get up in front of the 300+ audience and argue that ‘patients should do what they’re told’.
Last week I wrote a blog sharing my thoughts on the problematic nature of measuring the person-centredness of our health services. In our collective efforts to improve care quality, we need to be able not only to overcome the technical challenges of designing measures, but also the usual challenges associated with implementing a new system into routine practice.