Person-centred care aims to ensure a person is an equal partner in their health care. The individual and the health system benefit because the individual experiences greater satisfaction with their care and the health systems is more cost-effective. If it is to become a reality, person-centred care needs to be introduced at all levels of health care from governmental policy-making to an organisations’ interpretation of policy in the way that they operate. Here, we focus on what we as individuals can do.
Key concepts that combine to make person-centred care a reality are:
- respect and holism
- power and empowerment
- choice and autonomy
- empathy and compassion.
They may be thought of as making different contributions to the overall idea of dignity. Explore the following interactivity to hear nursing colleagues and service users discussing these concepts as part of their practice or care experiences. Consider how they compare or contrast with your views and the care delivered in your workplace.
'How to change practice' is a useful publication from the 'NHS National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence' – you can access it online from the 'Useful resources' section. The aim of the document is to help you understand, identify and overcome barriers to changing practice. You may find it a useful guide for working through this next activity.
Reflect on the last time you accessed any health care service. Do you feel the care you received was centred on you and your needs? How was that achieved, or what could have been done to make your experience better? List all the reasons (barriers to dignified care) you can think of as to why the service met or didn't meet your needs. What needs to change to overcome these barriers? How could you make those changes if this incident took place in your workplace? To enter your responses into a PDF document, select the link to 'Changing practice to person-centred care' (PDF 37KB) - see how to access PDF files. You may wish to save this document to your computer and upload it to your e-Portfolio as evidence of your continuing professional development.