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October 2015 Newsletter

Person-centred care to replace Patient centred care?

Person-centred care is a new way of thinking and doing things that sees people using health services as equal partners in planning, developing and monitoring care to make sure it meets their needs.

This means putting people and their families at the centre of decisions and seeing them as experts, working alongside professionals to get the best outcome.

Person-centred care is not just about giving people whatever they want or providing information. It is about considering people’s desires, values, family situations, social circumstances and lifestyles; seeing the person as an individual, and working together to develop appropriate solutions.

Being compassionate, thinking about things from the person’s point of view and being respectful are all important. This might be shown through sharing decisions with patients and helping people manage their health.

But person-centred care is not just about activities.

It is as much about the way professionals and patients think about care and their relationships as the actual services available.

In the past, people were expected to fit in with the routines and practices that health and social services felt were most appropriate. But in order to be person-centred, services need to become more flexible and meet people’s needs in a manner that is best for them.

This involves working with people and their families to find the best way to provide their care.

This partnership can occur on a one-to-one basis, where individual people take part in decisions about their health and care, or on a collective group basis whereby the public or patient groups are involved in decisions about the design and delivery of services.

The underlying philosophy is the same: it is about doing things with people, rather than ‘to’ them.

There is no one definition of person-centred care. People might also use terms such as patient-centred, family-centred, user-centred, individualised or personalised. Regardless of the terms used, a lot of research has looked into what matters to patients and how to provide person-centred care to make sure people have a good experience.

There are many different facets of person-centred care including:

  • respecting people’s values and putting people at the centre of care
  • taking into account people’s preferences and expressed needs
  • coordinating and integrating care
  • working together to make sure there is good communication, information and education
  • making sure people are physically comfortable and safe
  • emotional support
  • involving family and friends
  • making sure there is continuity between and within services
  • and making sure people have access to appropriate care when they need it

Why is person-centred care important?

Person-centred care is a high priority worldwide, and makes sure that    people are involved in and central to their own care.

It is hoped that putting people at the centre of their care will:

  • improve the quality of the services available
  • help people get the care they need when they need it
  • help people be more active in looking after themselves
  • and reduce some of the pressure on health and social services

There is increasing demand for health services and there are limited resources nationally.

People are living longer and may often have many health conditions as they age.

Research has found that person-centred care can help to improve people’s health and reduce the burden on health service so it is necessary to emphasise and strengthen the voice of patients and move away from a paternalistic model where professionals ‘do things to’ people.

It can also:

  • improve the experience people have of care and help them feel more satisfied,
  • encourage people to lead a more healthy lifestyle, such as exercising or eating healthily,
  • encourage people to be more involved in decisions about their care so they get services and support that are appropriate for their needs
  • impact on people’s health outcomes, such as their blood pressure
  • reduce how often people use services. This may in turn reduce the overall cost of care, but there is not as much evidence about this
  • improve how confident and satisfied professionals themselves feel about the care provided
    Some of the most common topics in person centred care that have been researched include:
  • Helping people learn more about their conditions, and prompting people to be more engaged in health consultations whilst training professionals to facilitate care that empowers people to take part.
  • Offering care in a more person-centred way can even improve outcomes for professionals. Research has further found that this approach improved job satisfaction, reduced emotional exhaustion and increased the sense of     accomplishment amongst professionals.

Person centred care is also important for affecting outcomes, including:

  • getting to know the patient as a person and recognising their individuality
  • seeing the patient as an expert about their own health and care
  • sharing power and responsibility
  • taking a holistic approach to assessing people’s needs and providing care
  • including families where appropriate
  • making sure that services are accessible, flexible and easy to navigate
  • looking at people’s whole experience of care to promote coordination and continuity
  • making sure that the physical, cultural and psychosocial environment of health services supports person-centred care
  • making sure that staff are supportive, well trained in communication and striving to put people at the centre of their care.

IPAF will be represented at the Imperial College London at its 1st International Conference of Primary Care and Public

Health Medicine and 3rd International Congress of Person Centred Medicine

It will look into seeing the person behind the patient………

We will be spearheading this new approach in RSA in 2016 and look forward to taking you all with us on the new journey into Person Centred Care

Tony Behrman
CEO IPAF and CPC/Qualicare
Article resourced from http://www.hin-southlondon.org

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 November 2015 14:32


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