Key points

  • Commissioners and providers should be rigorous in separating processes and outcomes when developing person-centred systems and associated measurement systems.
  • Commissioners should commission for high quality person-centred processes as well as high-quality person-centred outcomes.
  • The core argument, however, is that public services are not person-centred. Only when person-centred logic models are used to help patients, clinicians, managers and commissioners co-design services together will we actually begin to understand what person-centred services can and should look like.

Dr Alf Collins introduces ‘Dorothy’, a hypothetical patient with a number of long-term conditions. Dr Collins puts forward ideas to help ensure that the system, and the measures used in the system, always take account of what matters to Dorothy.

The paper describes the principles of person-centred care and the activities that a person-centred system should undertake in different contexts. It then describes how to think about constructing measurement systems for use in each of these contexts. The paper also describes the core constituents of person-centredness to demonstrate the steps that could be followed in order to develop a coherent measurement system.

Further reading

Thought paper

Measuring what really matters: Towards a coherent measurement system to support person-centred care

April 2014

The principles of person-centred care, activities that a person-centred system should undertake in...

Research report

Helping measure person-centred care

March 2014

A rapid review of research about measuring the extent to which care is person-centred.

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