What is person-centred care

  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. 

Read more about the principles of patient-centred care in Dr Alf Collins' thought paper 'Measuring what realy matters'.

Read about the components of person-centred care.