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The Legal Bit… Back to basics- providing person centred care

Amina Uddin Solicitor Ridouts Law

An area where many providers seem to fall short on is ensuring that people at their services are provided with person centred care. Providing personalised care should not be a tick box exercise, but something which is meaningful and is catered to the needs of the individual where the provider offers people choice, control and respect.

In the last adult social care services report conducted by CQC, 89% of smaller care providers were rated good or outstanding, in comparison to 65% of larger care providers. Why is it that some larger care providers find it difficult to ensure its services provide personalised care? Does the size of your service matter? Whilst it can be argued that smaller care providers are better in this area because they have less people to care for, it really is not about the size of a service. It is about ensuring that the needs and wishes of the people you provide care to is at the core of your service. Person centred-care is something that every service can achieve.

Regulation 9

Regulation 9 of The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 sets out the necessary actions a provider must take to ensure that people received person-centred care and treatment that is based on their needs and preferences.  A brief overview of the main points are highlighted below.

Care plans

The starting point a provider should ask is- what does personalisation mean? Personalisation in the context of health and social care means taking a holistic approach to building services and support around individuals so they can lead fulfilling lives. One of the ways this can be achieved is through consultation between the person and their representatives (where appropriate), to discuss matters such as their life priorities, social and occupational history, details of skills, hobbies and interests as well as diagnoses and healthcare treatments and the agreed goals. When discussing treatment, a provider should ensure that individuals understand the choices that are available to them and help them in making informed decision, and where necessary, put in place provisions so that people have access to advocates to assist them with exploring choices and options and making decisions.

People who lack capacity

Providers must take into account people’s capacity and ability to consent when planning their care or treatment and ensure that either they, or a person lawfully acting on their behalf, are involved in the planning, management and review of their care and treatment. It is important to note that providers must ensure that decisions about the person are made through consultation with their legal representative and that this is recorded appropriately in the person’s care plan.

Once an individuals care plan is developed, providers must ensure that carrying out assessments is a continued process and not simply a one-off event as well as ensure that people with the relevant knowledge and skills carry out these assessments. Details of any reviews/assessment should be recorded within the individual’s care plan.


To evaluate the quality of care delivered by a provider, it is important to gain feedback from individuals who use their service about the care and treatment they receive. One of the methods employed by many providers is to gain feedback from individuals and their families through sending out questionnaires/surveys. All feedback should be responded to appropriately, this may be in the form of a meeting to discuss matters further or provide a written response.


To provide person-centred care, it is imperative that staff get to know the people they work with, not through simply reading their care plans, but through meaningful engagement in order understand the people they care for, better. In turn, this will also achieve a positive work experience for staff and enable a culture that put people at the centre of care. The intention of enshrining this aspect of care within the Regulations is to ensure that people are provided with care and treatment that meets their needs and prevents settings which mimic institutionalised care.



Edel Harris





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