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Person-Centred Care – What It Is And Why It’s Important

uRoster Administrator

20 June 2021

Person-Centred Care – What It Is And Why It’s Important

uRoster Administrator

20 June 2021

Care in medical and social care settings can vary widely - but the gold standard is always to find facilities that focus on person-centred care as a best practice benchmark.

Person-centred care means that the patient, service user or individual is an active participant in making decisions. 

That empowers people to ask questions, make choices, and take back control over their care.

Focus on the individual is beyond essential. No two people are the same, and what works for one most likely won't for the next. 

In this blog, we explain more about the value of person-centred care. Find out why it's more important than ever for care organisations to take note.

What is person-centred care?

Some years ago, we might have thought nothing of having medical care orders dictated by a registered professional.

Care homes worked for a long time on set routines, protocols and rotas. The same care delivery was offered across the board.

Times have changed, however, and the UK care sector now champions the need for care to be far more personalised. 

It's impossible for an unlimited number of patients to fit in with the same practices and strategies, so service flexibility is crucial.

So - why does person-centred care matter? 

Here are some of the core reasons:

  • It improves the quality of services, which better meet the needs of each patient
  • People get to make active choices and achieve the help they need on their terms
  • Individuals are proactive about self-care and identifying what support they need
  • In turn, that reduces pressure on social care organisations, providing targeted support as required, rather than across the board whether or not the need is there

As we can see, person-centred care makes things so much more beneficial for the individual. 

It also avoids wasted resources and unnecessary care strategies and helps streamline service delivery where needed.

That's a win-win situation!

How can person-centred care improve service quality?

Person-centred care is a CQC requirement, which means social care organisations need to deliver:

  • High-quality care plans
  • Person-centred care
  • Understandable information

The Care Act 2014 and Health and Social Care Act 2008 also feature guidance and regulations on individualised care. They promote the organisational and individual benefits of having bespoke care approaches.

Therefore, care organisations need to ensure they provide care plans in an appropriate format and involve each individual in deciding how their care will be structured.

Quality improvement outcomes include:

  • Improving experiences and increasing patient satisfaction
  • Encouraging healthy living, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet
  • Providing access for people to be involved in care decisions
  • Listening to the support patients need and ensuring their wishes are heard
  • Enhancing the satisfaction and confidence of care professionals
  • Positive impacts on health outcomes, such as improved blood pressure
  • Reducing unnecessary service usage

All told, engaging with patients on a one-to-one basis provides control, support and a collaborative approach to care planning.

Even the most experienced professionals would never be able to offer such bespoke care without the contributions of the patient - the goal is that every person receiving any care gets the help they need, as and where they need it.

person centred care

What can care sector organisations do to become more person-centred?

Any CQC registered care provider will need to have demonstrated they offer person-centred care - but it's never something any facility should stop developing as their service evolves.

Let's run through some steps to implementing the crucial components of a proper person-centred care organisation:

Get to know patients as people

Individuality is vital, and each person should be treated as an expert in understanding his or her health and the care required.

Patients and their families, where appropriate, have a compelling insight into the whole health of a person. They could also have insights on other cultural, social or physical factors that may influence the care pathway most suitable.

Provide updated training 

Social care professionals should be offered opportunities to build on their learning and enhance their skills in each patient dialogue. 

For example, LGBTQ+ community members may require different care delivery, and protecting dignity is fundamental to quality provision. 

Supported staff with communication training have the skills to put people at the centre of the care they receive.

Shared responsibility

A medical professional is always the best placed to make diagnoses, prescribe medicines, or recommend a course of care - but the patient must have equal responsibility for making those decisions and upholding their side of the bargain.

Let's take a patient prescribed blood pressure medication as an example. 

  • If that person isn't keen on taking medicine and isn't prepared to make any lifestyle changes, how successful will that treatment be?
  • Say they're asked for their ideas, presented with options, and have equal power to decide which medications they choose and/or the lifestyle changes they'll need to make; it's far more likely to have a positive outcome

Consider whole care experiences

Again, if we think about minority sectors of our communities, so much goes into making care decisions beyond the particular requirement or underlying condition. 

Care should be coordinated and continual in partnership with other services.

Patients that can navigate the care system, know how to make appointments, have flexibility in who they see, and where, and have accessibility measures are far more likely to be engaged in their care.

Why is person-centred care so vital in supporting LGBTQ+ residents?

We've touched here on LGBTQ+ patients, but it's well worth emphasising the profound impact person-centred care can make on individuals who may feel excluded by conventional care systems.

In brief, as care professionals, we must:

A 2019 survey by Stonewall found that around 25% of survey respondents had witnessed negative remarks from healthcare professionals relating to LGBT people.

A massive 62% of transgender patients felt misunderstood and that their health needs could not be adequately met.

Therefore, person-centred care as a whole is about making access to care and the right to have a say imperative for all patients.

One of the best ways to improve person-centred care for marginalised community sectors is through education and support on equality and diversity. 

Social care staff with cultural competence training are far better placed to acknowledge, respond, and discuss the values and behaviours of each group they may work with - even (or, perhaps, especially) when that means the requisite care looks a little different from their typical processes.

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