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28.09.17

Moving towards person-centred care

Source: NHE Sep/Oct 17

John Rogers, chief executive of Skills for Health, on a new framework that seeks to change behaviours and offer new ways of working towards personalised care.

The NHS Five Year Forward View (FYFV), published in October 2014 by NHS England, sets out a positive vision for the future based around seven new models of care. 

The FYFV covers a number of themes including the need to empower patients and communities, supporting them to manage their own health and make informed choices. It highlights the need to increase the direct control that patients have over the care that is provided to them, as well as choice over where and how they receive care. It also emphasises the need to provide better support for carers. 

Achieving new models of care in a way that is genuinely person-centred requires not just a change in the way services are offered, but also a workforce equipped with the right skills, values and behaviours. 

In practice, this means that an employee needs to know what to do; know how to do it; think it’s a good thing; believe that they are capable; believe that it’s their role; and believe that people who are important to them think it’s the right thing to do. 

If we are to enable staff to achieve and sustain positive change in the way that they work, employers will need to invest in staff development and take approaches that support behavioural change. 

Skills for Health, in partnership with key stakeholders, developed the ‘Person-Centred Approaches Core skills education and training’ framework to provide a description of behaviours, knowledge and skills which puts a person-centred approach into practice. The framework follows a three-step methodology to underpin the values and core communication skills that are required to successfully implement a person-centred care approach. The three steps are: 

  • Step 1: Conversations to engage with people
  • Step 2: Conversations to enable and support people
  • Step 3: Conversations with people to collaboratively manage highest complexity and significant risk 

The appropriate step will depend upon the type of conversation needed in a particular situation – this is not necessarily dependent on a worker’s job role or level of seniority.The method of education and delivery of training is not prescribed and can be tailored to local needs. 

However, a person-centered approach is more than just education; achieving successful implementation across whole organisations requires clear and strong leadership, together with systems and processes that support this way of working. 

The foundation for a strong person-centered workforce begins with attracting, recruiting and developing individuals who embody the values described in the framework. It is important that the organisation commits to: 

  • Ongoing support to build the person-centered skills, behaviours and motivations of its workforce
  • Continually seeking feedback and involvement from people who use services to ensure ongoing improvement
  • Supporting staff with these approaches in the context of professional revalidation 

For the individual employee to develop person-centered behaviours and approaches, it is important that they take time to think about what they are doing and how they are doing things, and the impact this has on other people. This draws on an individual’s experiences, knowledge, values and feedback (and evidence, where appropriate) to analyse and identify opportunities to change their thoughts and behaviours. 

Personalised care will only happen when statutory services recognise that a patient’s own life goals are what counts; that services need to support families, carers and communities; that promoting wellbeing and independence need to be the key outcomes of care; and that patients, their families and carers are often ‘experts by experience’. 

Transforming the way the workforce thinks, feels and behaves whilst equipping them with the skills and knowledge to deliver person-centred services is central to making the vision of person-centred care a reality. 

The core skills education and training framework articulates for employers, employees, carers and training providers a means to achieve this.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Download your copy of the framework here:

W: www.tinyurl.com/Person-Centred-Approaches 

E: contactus@skillsforhealth.org.uk

Top image: © michaeljung

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