Mental health nursing is changing the way in which care is delivered and as such there has been a move to adopt a person centred approach, not just in mental health but in all fields of nursing. Highlighted by the work of Kitwood (1993, 1997a) this approach attempts to understand the person using empathy and individualised care. Kirby, et al, (2004) reminds us “The very way Professionals and care workers interact with patients can lead to the concept or perception of a ‘them and us’ scenario which can stigmatise and stereotype our patients that can lead to such labels as ‘damaged’ ‘different’ or disabled.” (p.210) Kitwood reminds us that we are potentially ‘them’. Kirby, et al, (2004)
But by the very definition of person-centred care its emphasis is on not just the patient/ client but the individuals involved in their care such as family, friends, relatives and other professionals. Manley, K et al (2011) discusses that nurses and nursing staff provide and promote care that puts people at the centre, involves patients, service users, their families and their carers’ in decisions, and helps them make informed choices about their treatment and care.
Person-centred care should focus on the person and ensure the person is at the centre of all decisions which is advantageous to a holistic approach in the treatment of our clients and not just their health requirements but in all aspects of living, this chain of thought is supported by Harvey (2010) who discussed that being truly person centred is about recognising people within the full context of their lives and how they live them and not just focusing on their health condition. Outcomes will need to be based on what is important to people within these contexts and specifically relate to them as individuals.
The scope of this assignment is to identify the key principles of person-centred care, to explore the concepts of person-centredness and how these can be applied in the delivery of safe and...