There are many definitions and dimensions of person-centred care. In the Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHS Scotland we have described it in this way: "Mutually beneficial partnerships between patients, their families and those delivering healthcare services which respect individual needs and values and which demonstrate compassion, continuity, clear communication and shared decision making."
The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland reiterated the vital importance of the person-centred ethos in her 2015 annual report, describing the need to "deliver healthcare that focuses on true value to the patient"; the need to "place collaborative, relational decision-making and planning at the heart of our system" and the absolute imperative "to be focusing completely and relentlessly on what matters most to the people who look to us for care, support and treatment".
We are at an important juncture in the provision of health and social care. Person-centred approaches are at the heart of this transformation and this booklet introduces the key policy strands supporting development towards this exciting new era.
Practical improvements to person-centred care are promoted and supported through the framework of five key 'Must Do With Me' principles:
1. What matters to you?
We will ask you about your personal goals and the things that are important to you. These things will form the basis of everything we do with you.
2. Who matters to you?
We will ask you about the people that matter most in your life and will help you to stay connected and involve them in the way that you choose.
3. What information do you need?
We will provide you with understandable full information and will support you to make decisions that take account of your personal goals and the things that are important to you.
4. Nothing about me without me
We will always involve you in any decisions, discussions or communications about you.
5. Service flexibility
As much as possible, the timing and method by which you contact and use services or supports are flexible and can be adapted to your personal needs.
Together, these five 'Must Do With Me' principles of care will help to ensure that all of the interactions between people using services and the staff delivering them are characterised by listening, dignity, compassion and respect.
Email: Sarah Hildersley