Jim Thomas, Programme Head, Workforce Innovation at Skills for Care, explains why delivering person-centred care isn’t a one-time event. But the complexities and constraints that adult social care services face, often leads to services delivering ‘person-centred moments’ rather than holistic ‘person-centred care’.
Making person-centred care part of your everyday practice requires a cultural shift within teams and across your organisation. This can take time and effort, but a workplace culture that supports person-centred care puts people who need care and support at the heart of everything they do, involves them in every decision about their life and is responsive to change and innovation as people’s needs change.
Culture is unique to every organisation, but there are some things that leaders and managers can do, to develop and embed a positive culture that supports person-centred care.
Have values that support person-centred care
Values such as collaboration, respect, trust, openness, honesty and transparency are an integral part of delivering person-centred care.
Involving people who use and work in your service in developing your values, is a great way of ensuring they support better outcomes for everyone involved.
Your workforce is vital in embedding values throughout the workplace. Having a workplace charter or behaviours framework that shows what they look like in practice, will help staff to understand what’s expected of them and how to behave.
You can link your workplace values and behaviours to staff goals and objectives, and review them in supervision and appraisals, to ensure they’re always influencing the way that you work.
Ensure policies and processes enable you to work in a person-centred way
Processes and policies need to support staff to work in a way that aligns with your culture.
For example, taking a values-based approach to recruitment can help you to find people who have the right values to work in your organisation, and who are, therefore, the right cultural fit.
Planning your staff rota around people’s care and support needs, gives staff the capacity to support people how and when they want.
Matching people with appropriate staff, based on their skills, knowledge, personality and interests, builds relationships and helps staff to get to know people better, so that they can deliver more person-centred care.
And, training staff around the specific needs of the people they support, gives them the confidence and competence to support people in the best way they can.
Leaders need to embody your culture and support person-centred working
Leading by example is an essential part of having a values-led, workplace culture that supports person-centred outcomes.
Having leaders and managers who support an open culture, with good communication practices and a positive approach to performance management, will support and sustain your workforce, and enable them to deliver person-centred care.
Good leadership and management should involve listening to people’s views and experiences, and using what they say to make informed changes to improve. Asking for regular feedback through conversations, surveys, questionnaires, meetings and supervisions will ensure that your organisation can continually adapt to the needs of the people you support.
Getting your workplace culture right makes your service a better place for staff to work, and a nicer home for people to live in or access services. This can increase staff retention, improve health and wellbeing, make your service more efficient and, ultimately, improve the quality of care and support.
Find out more
Skills for Care’s ‘Culture for care’ toolkit can help you create a positive workplace culture. It explains what culture is, and has practical activities to help you think about how you develop a positive one in your organisation.
Access it from www.skillsforcare.org.uk/culture