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What is Patient-Centred Care?

6 minute read | 25/03/2024

What is Patient-Centred Care?

Patient-centred care is pivotal in raising patient satisfaction and shaping patient experience. It puts patients at the forefront of their plans, considering more than just their health diagnosis by understanding their preferences.

The NHS has been vocal about the importance of patient-centred care. However, it’s a concept all health facilities must adopt to reach changing expectations and meet the population's evolving needs.

In this blog, we highlight what patient-centred care is and what it means to the NHS.

  1. What is patient-centred care?
  2. The benefits of patient-centred care
  3. Examples of patient-centred care
  4. How the NHS adopts patient-centred care values
  5. How patient-centred care can be improved by the NHS and beyond


What Is patient-centred care?

Patient-centred care revolves around the patient, considering an individual’s perspective, beliefs and values to deliver quality healthcare services. Patient-centred care balances these needs while striving for the most positive and effective outcome.

Although providing a definitive explanation of patient-centred care is difficult, it’s a widely accepted concept across the industry, informing healthcare practice across private and public Trusts.

Patient-centred care can be characterised by its eight principles, which are:

  1. Respect for patients' preferences
  2. Coordination and integration of care
  3. Information and education
  4. Physical comfort
  5. Emotional support
  6. Involvement of family and friends
  7. Continuity and transition
  8. Access to care

The benefits of patient-centred care

The benefits of patient-centred care are extensive, bettering both the patients' and practitioners' experience. While patient-centred care enriches the patient experience as its primary benefit, it can also improve efficiencies for healthcare staff, make the provision of services more rewarding and help facilities reach readmission targets. 

For patients, the benefits are endless. However, a few of those with the most impact include: 

  • Greater satisfaction with a hospital stay, including more meaningful interactions, a heightened understanding of diagnosis, continual care and a care plan that aligns with their preferences
  • Appropriate education and support to assist with the transition between hospital and home care, which includes independent management of long-term diagnoses and lifestyle factors patients can adopt to reduce the risk of readmission
  • More efficient provision of care, allowing patients to be seen faster, receiving only the information and assessment integral to their case. Patient-centred care often elevates the perceived professionalism of healthcare teams
  • Easier access to healthcare services and supporting materials. eaning patients can independently research credible sources and have ownership of their healthcare documents.


Examples of patient-centred care

One example of patient-centred care is careful consultation surrounding patient preferences. Before a treatment or care plan commences, a patient-centred care approach sees the interaction and involvement of the patient to outline choices which may impact the approach, medication and nature of such plans.

For example, religious preferences, moral values, previous experiences and even dietary requirements may all impact a patient-centred healthcare plan that meets all the physical and emotional criteria of the patient.

Catering to each patient individually promotes positive engagement from patients, healthcare staff and the patient's family, which is vital for speeding up recovery.

Another clear example of patient-centred care is the provision of patient experience platforms available via Bedside Units or WiFi on a personal device.

Patient engagement systems encapsulate all patient-centred experience principles, simultaneously providing entertainment and education services.

Patient engagement systems enable a platform for: 

  • Preferences to be logged and adhered to. For example, in cases such as digital meal ordering
  • Aiding coordination and integration of care with pre-recorded educational resources
  • Directly influencing information and education engagement with convenient ways of learning
  • Providing comfort through familiar entertainment channels and telephone services
  • Gaining emotional support from family and friends with video calling functions, even in times when visitors can’t be present
  • Involving parties close to the patient at every step of the care process with various options for communication 
  • Preparing the patient for continued care and the transition from hospital to home with patient surveys, helpful resources and documents all in one place
  • Opening up access to care, making digital forms of care available around the clock


How the NHS adopts patient-centred care values

The NHS leads the way in patient-centred care, taking the involvement of patients in care seriously and improving several areas of care, including: 

  • Treatment outcomes and promotion of independence in the ageing population 
  • Improving the capacity of emergency and urgent care
  • Filling service gaps relating to mental health
  • Increasing investment in areas of neglect, including those with severe mental illnesses and new mothers
  • Accelerating a collaborative way of working, where the patient has a greater say in their care


How patient-centred care can be improved in the NHS and beyond

Although the NHS actively provides and improves patient-centred care, every facility, including privately owned, has room to improve.

The most immediate improvement is to realise the benefits of bedside terminals and the provision of free entertainment and education.

Learn more about the patient experience and how to improve it with our dedicated page.



75% of patients want digital healthcare services

So let’s work together to give it to them, all while optimising NHS processes.

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