The healthcare system is a vital part of every individual’s life, whether it affects them directly or indirectly. Therefore it is essential that their needs are met and that they are at the centre of each decision made towards their health. In order to achieve this, health care practitioners must be able to deliver person centred care. The NHS is the most used healthcare service in the UK and therefore healthcare practitioners in the NHS must be able to deliver person centred care to ensure all patients are at the heart of decisions made about their health.
Person centred care can be defined as “providing care that is responsive to individual personal preferences, needs and values and assuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” (Nes, 2013¹) Other definitions suggest that in order to achieve person centred care, healthcare practitioners must place themselves in the patient’s shoes to enable them to be compassionate and respectful towards the patient’s needs and wishes. (Mead and Bower, 2000²) To enable patient’s needs to be met, the service providers must be flexible and able to provide care that not only will benefit the patient, but will suit the patient’s desires. To do this, they must be able to work with the patients and not only for the patients. This can be done by discussing care plans with the patients on a one-to-one basis or even by having group discussions on improving the way healthcare services are delivered allowing the patient to feel as though their health is being considered with them rather than for them.3
Person centered care can be achi...
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...erson centred care can be therapeutic for both the patient and practitioner and allows a healthy rapport to be built which will indefinitely benefit the patient as it allows symptoms to be recognised earlier and diagnosis to be made. Person centred care allows patients to be in control of their treatment which gives them empowerment. Feeling empowered can benefit the patient, giving them a positive outlook of their medical treatment. Promoting equality allows every individual regardless of age, sex, class, disability, ethnicity or any other difference to access the service being provided to them and allows healthcare practitioners to adapt to the changing needs of their service users. Combining these two concepts of communication and addressing inequality will allow healthcare service users to experience a higher level of improved care that is highly person centred.
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