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What is person-centred care?

Person-centred care is a philosophical approach to service development and service delivery that sees services provided in a way that is respectful of, and responsive to, the preferences, needs and values of people and those who care for them.

There are numerous models and guiding theories of person-centred care described in published and unpublished literature around the world. Some models have been developed to meet the needs of specific care environments, including the residential care setting and hospital environment. Others have been developed to describe person-centred care provided by different professional groups, for example, nursing and allied health.

Valuing People supports the standpoint that the many different theories of person-centredness are all, in essence, based around the same principles.

Key principles of person-centredness

The key principles of person-centred care are:

  • Valuing people
    Treating people with dignity and respect by being aware of and supporting personal perspectives, values, beliefs and preferences. Listening to each other and working in partnership to design and deliver services.
  • Autonomy
    The provision of choice and subsequent respect for choices made. Balancing rights, risks and responsibilities. Optimising a person’s control through the sharing of power and decision-making. Maximising independence by building on individual strengths, interest and abilities
  • Life experience
    Supporting the sense of self by understanding the importance of a person’s past, their present-day experience, and their hopes for the future.
  • Understanding relationships
    Collaborative relationships between the service provider and service user and their carers and between staffing levels. Social connectedness through the local community through opportunities to engage in meaningful activities.
  • Environment
    Organisational values underpinned by person-centred principles. Responsive support that is responsive to individual needs. A planned, organisation-wide effort to individual and organisational learning.

The Valuing People assessment process will help you to identify areas in need of improvement and help you find ways of addressing them.                                                 

Continue to the next page: Why is person-centred care important?

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