Historically, within care settings, it was assumed and expected that people receiving care should agree with, and fit into, a care plan or routine designed for them, without any input into it themselves.
Thankfully times and thinking has moved on. Person-centred support moves away from this approach. Put simply, person-centred support is the act of placing the individual (and their family) at the centre of all decisions relating to their health and wellbeing; it’s about focusing on the support the individual needs and wants rather than getting them to fit with a pre-designed care or support plan.
Ensuring that people provide input into their own support plans is now recognised as an important element in delivering care and support. In fact, it’s a legal requirement laid down by the Care Quality Commission.
As well as placing the service user at the centre of their own support planning, person-centred support also means that the individual’s desires, values, family situations, lifestyle and social circumstances are all taken into consideration.
Person-centred support is about doing things with people, rather than to or for them, to ensure the person has a good experience and most importantly a sense of control over their life.
Why is Person-Centred Support Important?
The aim of person-centred support is to put the individual at the centre of planning their own future, and what support they require to make their vision of the future happen. The process focuses on problem-solving and done well, should focus on positive risk taking. If the person lacks capacity, the people that know them well should be fully involved in the process along with, as appropriate, support staff and advocacy. The whole approach enables the person to be empowered and engaged.
Person-centred support greatly improves the quality of life for people who need support to achieve their desired outcomes. It also helps boost self-esteem and dignity, and enables people to live the life they want.
How Does Person-Centred Support Help Staff?
Not only does a person-centred approach improve the satisfaction level for the individual, but it also improves the job satisfaction of the people providing the support. Being part of that person’s life is a huge privilege and knowing that you are part of something that person (or their circle of support) has engaged with, makes the actual ‘job’ so much more meaningful and satisfying.
You are part of something that is really making a difference!
Person-centred support means that staff get to know people on an individual basis, they get to understand their personality, to know what may cause any anxiousness or what they might respond well to. The staff can then, with the person, begin to make suggestions which if agreed, can really make a difference to someone, which helps to increase job satisfaction.
In fact, a study has found that delivering person-centred care (in nursing homes) improved job satisfaction while reducing emotional exhaustion and providing an increased sense of accomplishment.[i] Person-centred support is win-win for everyone involved.
It makes sense when you think about it. Treating people as individuals is respectful of their dignity which leads to a positive emotional climate which leads to happy people!
How Encompass uses Person-Centred Support?
Everyone who accesses our services can expect person-centred support and a plan which has specific outcomes tailored around that planning. Our support teams are required to support the person in line with those plans and outcomes. We believe that’s how the people we support and the people who work for us feel engaged and motivated; because they see results and that gives everyone a real sense of achievement.
[i] van den Pol-Grevelink A, Jukema JS, Smits CH. Person-centred care and job satisfaction of caregivers in nursing homes: a systematic review of the impact of different forms of person-centred care on various dimensions of job satisfaction. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 2012;27(3):219-229.