Mental Health Training

Person-centred Care, not just for Health & Social Care

Posted by on 11 Oct, 2021 in Mental Health |

Person-centred Care, not just for Health & Social Care

Person-centred care is often a term referred to in health and social care. It is a difficult term to pin down because there are various definitions and what it looks like for one will look different for the next.

The Health Foundation defines four principles of person-centred care

  1. Personalised care
  2. Coordinated care
  3. Enabling care
  4. With a thread of dignity, compassion, and respect through all.

Now I think it is fair to say that health and social care are no longer viewed as the sole guardians of health care in our society. The growth in workplace health and wellbeing in the last 10 years has illustrated that workplaces also have both a duty and responsibility for health in respect of the employed population, regardless of what type of business they are. Add to that the existence of the Health & Safety at Work Act since 1974 – the basic premise being ‘we should not be made ill by our work’ – it is reasonable to say that workplaces have for a long time had this responsibility but maybe only embraced the ‘health’ side of health and safety more fully in the last 10 years and giving it due parity with safety.

As this is the case, it is useful to consider whether the benefits of person-centred care can be adopted into the workplace too. Many health and social care providers have recognised that to provide this effectively to their patients and service users, their workplaces need to embrace it too. But I wonder just how many other types of business are really getting to grips with this.

Thanks to the work of Dr Derek Mowbray, we already know that organisations need to be resilient, just as we would like individuals to be. They need to be organised, there needs to be effective communication, reflection, and review, amongst other key attributes of resilience. It is also possible to have resilient organisations incorporate the necessary workplace management practices, policies, and procedures while at the same time doing so in a person centre way. The person-centred way requires:

  • Having a shared sense of purpose and values
  • Listening to individuals, their story and narrative – listen to hear, not listen to respond
  • Understanding the person so their strengths and interests can be matched to bring out the best in performance.
  • Developing policies, procedures, and management systems in a way that individuals are involved, consulted, and collaborated with.
  • Being brave enough to try things out a different way, a more inclusive way, and being prepared for that to fail as well as succeed and learning from the failures.
  • Treating individuals with dignity, compassion, and respect.

It’s not about treating everyone the same, it’s about treating everyone as individual. It’s not about treating others like we would like to be treated. It’s about treating others as they would like to be treated, provided of course that how they would like to be treated includes self-dignity, self-compassion, and self-respect. Values need to align. Person-centred Care is as much about our workplaces as it is about health and social care, and so the same considerations can be applied.

Mind Matters delivers the Dr Derek Mowbray ‘Strengthening Personal Resilience’ programme, both online and face-to-face, alongside other programmes like i-ACT (for Positive Mental Health), both of which support a person-centred approach. If you’d like to adopt a more person-centred approach, please get in touch.