At Crossroads we often say that our care is "person-centred" - but what does this actually mean? Is it a feel-good term that people who work for our charity like to bandy about, or does it genuinely inform our way of doing things?
"Person-centred care" means that we recognise every person's individuality and value it. We do this by ensuring that each individual service-user is fully included in planning their care. We always try to be courteous and respectful in our interactions with service-users, their families, and their friends. We uphold each person's right to privacy and do not disclose their care plan or gossip about their needs. We try to cultivate empathy for all those who need us: how would we cope in their position?
We endeavour to support our service users in making their own decisions, which means that we do not take away their independence by making decisions for them. We exist to help, not to impose ourselves. In order to do this, we encourage openness and communicate according to each person's individual needs and expressed wishes.
So, the next time somebody talks about "person-centred care", you will know what they mean - and feel free to ask them about what they do. Hopefully, they will then reply with some version of the above - without giving away any personal details of the service users they work with.