What is Person-Centred Care and why is it Important?

What is person-centred care?

Person-centred care is an approach to healthcare that focuses on the needs and preferences of the individual receiving care. It recognizes that each person is unique, with their own set of values, beliefs, and experiences, and seeks to tailor care to meet their specific needs.

Person-centred involves a collaborative approach between healthcare providers and the individual receiving care, as well as their family or caregivers where appropriate. It places a strong emphasis on communication, listening, and empathy, with the aim of building a strong, trusting relationship between the provider and the person receiving care.

Person-centred care is a guiding principle of the NHS and it has made efforts to implement person-centred care into its policies and practices. For example, the NHS Constitution gives patients the right to be treated with dignity and respect, to be involved in decisions about their care and to receive care that is tailored to their individual needs. The NHS Long Term Plan, published in 2019, prioritises person-centred care by aiming to provide care that is more personalised, accessible, and coordinated.

In the context of home care, person-centred care is an approach to providing support in a person’s own home that prioritises their needs, goals, and preferences. It recognizes that each person is unique and has their own goals, routines, and ways of doing things and that their care should be tailored to meet these preferences.

Where did person-centred care come from?

Person-centred care was developed in the 1940s by psychologist Carl Rogers, who believed that traditional, medical models of care often failed to recognize the individual needs, values, and preferences of the person being cared for.

Rogers’ approach, which he called client-centred therapy, placed the individual at the centre of the therapeutic relationship and emphasised the importance of empathy, active listening and unconditional positive regard.

Today, person-centred care is widely recognized as a key element of high-quality healthcare, and is endorsed by many healthcare organisations and professional bodies. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified person-centred care as a core component of quality healthcare and has developed guidelines for implementing person-centred care in various healthcare settings.

Why is person-centred care important?

At its core, person-centred care is all about treating people with kindness, empathy, and respect. It involves listening to patients, involving them in their own care, and working collaboratively with them to make decisions about their health. This approach can lead to better health outcomes, as patients are more likely to feel empowered, engaged, and motivated to take an active role in their own care.

Person-centred care offers many benefits for both healthcare providers and the person receiving care including:

  • It respects the individual as a unique person, with their own needs, preferences, and values.
  • It enhances the individual’s autonomy and decision-making, giving them a greater sense of control over their care.
  • It improves the quality of care, by ensuring that care is tailored to the individual’s needs and preferences and is therefore more likely to be effective and efficient.
  • It strengthens the therapeutic relationship between the individual and the care provider, promoting trust, empathy, and communication.
  • It can enhance the overall care experience, by promoting a more positive and supportive environment for the individual.
  • It improves health outcomes, by ensuring that care is more closely aligned with the individual’s needs and preferences and is therefore more likely to be effective and sustainable.
  • It may reduce healthcare costs, by reducing the likelihood of unnecessary or ineffective care and by promoting more efficient use of resources.

How we provide person-centred support

At Oxford Aunts, providing high-quality, person-centred support is at the heart of everything we do. We ensure that our care plans, communication, and overall approach to care always reflect our client’s unique needs, goals, and preferences.

Here are some of the ways we include person-centred care in the support we provide:

  • Initial assessment: We conduct a comprehensive initial assessment with each individual and their family or caregivers to understand their unique needs, preferences, and goals. This helps us to tailor our care plan to the individual’s specific needs and ensures that they are involved and informed about the decision-making process.
  • Tailored care plans: Based on the assessment, we create personalised care plans that are tailored to our client’s specific needs and preferences. Our plans are flexible and are regularly reviewed and updated as care needs change.
  • Continuity of care: We aim to provide continuity of care by ensuring that each individual has a small team of care staff who get to know them well and who can provide consistent and compassionate support.
  • Holistic approach: We take a holistic approach to care recognising that each individual’s physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs are interconnected. Our care plans reflect this and aim to support the whole person, not just their medical conditions.
  • Person-centred communication: We prioritise effective communication with the individual, their family, and other healthcare professionals involved in their care. We listen carefully to their concerns and involve them in every step of the decision-making process about their care.
  • Respect for individual choices: We get to know our clients as people and celebrate their individuality. We respect our client’s choices and preferences about the care they receive and how they wish to live their lives. We work with them to find solutions that respect their autonomy and dignity.
  • Supporting independence: We aim to support our client’s independence as much as possible while ensuring their safety and well-being. We encourage and assist them to participate in activities they enjoy and maintain their social connections, so that life has more meaning.
  • Education and empowerment: We provide education and support to the individual and their family or caregivers, empowering them to be active participants in their own care. We aim to help them to develop the skills and knowledge they need to manage their conditions and maintain their well-being.
  • Continuous improvement: We are committed to continuously improving the quality of care we provide. We regularly seek feedback from the individuals we support, their family or caregivers, and other healthcare professionals involved in their care. We use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and implement changes where necessary.

Arrange a home assessment

For over 75 years, Oxford Aunts has provided bespoke and highly-personalised live-in care across Oxfordshire and beyond. If you are interested in learning how our fully-managed and regulated live-in service can support you and your family, do not hesitate to contact our friendly team.

Our expert Care Assessor will meet with you and your family at a convenient time, either at your home or in hospital if you are awaiting discharge, to discuss your care options. This will allow our Care Assessor to create a tailored plan of care that ensures all your needs are met.


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