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What is person-centred health care?
This widely used term is found in care recipient programs, government bodies, service providers, etc. The simplest definition is from the Victorian Department of Human Services (2003):
“care provided by health services [that] places the person at the centre of their own care and considers the needs of the older person’s carers”.
Bannister In Home Care interprets that to mean person-centred care can be seen as a partnership. And a partnership can be defined as: “A relationship between individuals or groups that is characterised by mutual cooperation and responsibility, as for the achievement of a specified goal”.
Definition of Person-centred Care
Therefore, person-centred care is a collaborative and respectful partnership between the service provider, the user (care recipient) and his/her advocates.
It is generally accepted that people in the community who need care and assistance, will respond more positively and enjoy a better quality of life if they can play a role in defining the level and delivery of their care.
Responsibilities of those involved in Person-centred Care
The Provider: In determining the care required, the service provider has a responsibility to respect whatever contribution the care recipient can make towards his/her own health and wellbeing. So the provider needs to identify, understand and respect the care recipient’s story.
This might include their values, cultural background and religious preferences; as well, the family situation, knowledge of the person’s own needs and their life experience are all taken into account.
And importantly, the interests, expectations and the likes and dislikes of the person, must be added into the mix, in order to develop a full picture of the recipient’s needs.
It is also important that the service provider engages the care recipient’s advocates. Advocates are an intrinsic part of the overall relationship and also represent a “person” in the partnership.
The service provider has a pivotal role in the person-centred care model. After assessing the needs of the care recipient, and understanding the advocate’s expectations, a solution must then be found that all parties can accept and commit to. The provider must also ensure that the experiences of one partner cannot be generalised to another.
The service provider must be clear that the care recipient (and advocates) understand, accept and become involved in the person-centred care principles that are being used to define the care plan. And while everyone involved in the partnership has an important role, it is the care recipient who remains central.
The Client: Equally, the care recipient has to understand and have confidence in the contribution of the service provider, including professional expertise, experience, empathy and knowledge, along with his/her ability to provide options to meet the care recipient’s needs.
The care recipient must have absolute confidence in the service provider’s ability to meet his/her needs based on person-centred care principles.
The basic principles of person-centred care
Getting to know the care recipient as a person (holistic as well as individual).
- Who they are? What are their family relationships, achievements, history, expectations, interests, preferences, personal care needs etc? It is also important to understand and respect the inevitable concerns of care recipients.
- Recognising roles and responsibilities.
Understanding that the care recipient is the expert in his/her own health, needs and wellness, and ensuring that he/she is confident of the service provider’s expertise and ability to provide support and social inclusion.
Both the care recipient and the service provider are recognised as “persons” in the partnership, and the provider is responsible for establishing the understanding that the provider is not just an institution.
- Guaranteeing accessibility and flexibility of the service provider.
The service provider must be accessible at all times and be willing to adapt and vary services to meet changes in the care recipient’s circumstances
- Ensuring coordination and integration.
The service provider must be able to consider the whole experience from the point of view of the care recipient, and ensure that services are provided in a consistent and effective manner
- Establishing and maintaining an environment that is conducive to person-centred care.
It’s the provider’s role to ensure that the principles of person-centred care are at the heart of all the services provided.Whether it’s getting to know the client and assessing the home environment, recruiting and training staff or preparing care plans; and even including complaint management and resolution, and management decisions. The care recipient always remains the focus.
Bannister In Home Care endorses and has embraced these principles:
- We have done so because we believe in them.
- We put these principles into effect in every aspect of our service delivery.
- We understand that integrating these principles will incur more time in our assessment and service delivery planning – we accept this and will take that time to ensure we provide the best possible service to our care recipients.
- By incorporating these principles into everything we do, we will provide a level of service that will establish our organisation as a leader in person-centred care.
For more information regarding person centred care, we recommend this link:http://www.mednwh.unimelb.edu.au/pchc/downloads/PCHC_literature_review.pdf
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