The challenges facing the NHS are well understood. There are growing numbers of older people and people living with long-term conditions and disabilities. At the same time, health and social care budgets are under increasing pressure. If we are to provide high quality care that affords people the best possible quality of life, we need to rethink the relationship between people and the services that provide their care.

Download Person-centred care made simple.

In person-centred care, health and social care professionals work collaboratively with people who use services. Person-centred care supports people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to more effectively manage and make informed decisions about their own health and health care. It is coordinated and tailored to the needs of the individual. And, crucially, it ensures that people are always treated with dignity, compassion and respect.

This guide seeks to provide a quick overview of person-centred care. This is not a ‘how to’ guide. Instead, it offers a clear explanation of the principles of person-centred care, why it is important, how it has developed, and some examples to help those considering putting person-centred care in to practice.

It is written for anyone interested in health and health care, including health care professionals and those who use the NHS.

More person-centred care resources

For more person-centred care resources, tools and information, visit our person-centred care resource centre.