In this article, Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of National Voices, sets out five key areas which are repeatedly identified through research as important to patients and their families: information, patient involvement in decision-making, self-management education and support, communication training for professionals and well-targeted approaches to improving people’s health behaviours.
Why, he asks, when there is rich evidence in these areas, has there not been more progress in delivering these fundamental aspects of person centred care? He identifies the enduring medical model of treatment – which struggles to see the whole person – as a huge obstacle. He further argues that person-centred care is seen as the “soft stuff”, when in reality it is hard: hard for the NHS to get right, but fundamental to quality, and fundamental to creating a health and care system which genuinely puts patients at the heart.
The article draws on the findings of recent research by National Voices which has been published in the form of a series of booklets designed to provide accessible and accurate information so that commissioners, health professionals and service user groups can see what works best and how to invest time and resources.