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Social care is changing to become focussed on putting the service user at the heart of everything we do. This approach is called the ‘person-centred’ approach. It is a key part of the Putting People First and Valuing People Now papers from the Department of Health, and underpins all workforce planning.

It is about care planning, but it is also about how to run your organisation more effectively and efficiently, while upholding dignity, respect and individuality.

There is a great deal of information available on how to introduce and develop person-centred thinking and working into your organisation. Below are some key guidance documents, tools and resources to help you get started in person-centred planning.

Department of Health resources

Person Centred Planning – Advice for Providers

This information is designed to help providers know how to use person-centred planning approaches to deliver truly person-centred services.

Personalisation through Person Centred Planning

This guide on personalisation through Person Centred Planning [PDF 1.9MB] gives a thorough background to the theory and many practical suggestions on how person centred planning can be implemented.

The Department of Health has also been working together with Helen Sanderson Associates to develop tools and resources for care providers to use. Their website provides a wealth of information and resources:

Nottinghamshire County Council quality audit criteria

Person-centred planning and thinking is difficult to quantify, as the emphasis is on individuality and flexibility to changing needs. However, a quality auditing benchmark is required to give providers a realistic aim. Below is the Criterion Descriptor for person-centred planning from the Nottinghamshire County Council Quality Development team.

“Care plans are person centred and based on a full holistic assessment which includes information about interests and preferences, a personal history and comprehensive information about current health and all identified specialist needs.

The plan reflects what is important to the person and how best the staff can support the person.

The plan is focused on the individual’s capabilities and circumstances rather than their deficits. This information is used to inform the care plan as a whole and is consistent throughout.

Where possible, care plan includes a photograph of the person for identification.

Staff can demonstrate they have the knowledge and skills to support and encourage the residents and/or their carers to be fully involved in the care planning process.

There is robust evidence that care plans are reviewed and evaluated monthly and that changes in needs are recorded.

Where limitation of freedom and choice has been identified, the care plans are linked to Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)”.

(Quality Audit Framework 2011/12 – Criteria Descriptors, ASCHPP)

Other resources

The Dos and Don’ts of Person Centred Planning

A useful article on the dos and dont's of Person Centred Planning [PDF 12KB] to get you started.

Person-centred Approaches: Guidelines

The purpose of this practical booklet on Person Centred Approaches [PDF 4.3MB] is to show how to link together ‘One Page Profiles’, ‘Person Centred Care Plans’ and the use of ‘Learning Logs’ within services, in order to bring about a more person centred service delivery that is continually evolving.


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