What healthcare professionals have to say
We have attained better health outcomes by encouraging service users to make their own care decisions.
Neville WoodPeer support lead and peer support worker, Nottingham Recovery College
We believe that giving people more control over their situation and a belief in their own decision making can help in the recovery from mental health issues. Our peer support unit working at Nottingham Recovery College aims to support service users in this way; a method with person-centred care at its heart.
The recovery model we use involves the service user taking decisions around their care and choosing their own solutions. We also require that all peer workers have experienced mental health issues themselves. We have found that this creates an empathetic and neutral relationship where we all learn from each other.
Our peer support workers are helped to learn active listening and good questioning skills. They use their personal stories to help strengthen the relationship with the service user.
We are starting to see the evidence that this approach leads to better health outcomes. With a person-centred approach at the heart of everything we do, our service users are happier and living fuller, healthier lives. There are also fewer relapses.
From a personal perspective and as someone who has experienced mental health issues, I can see first-hand that this approach works. It’s not a linear journey and I still have periods of ill health, but I do become ill less frequently.
What patients have to say
Person-centred care has given me control of my long-term conditions.
I have not one, but several long-term conditions and endure the associated pain, depression and fatigue. Learning about person-centred care has led me to take more responsibility for my health. I now manage my conditions in a better way.
I have learned several practical ways to utilise person-centred care. For example, when I attend a consultation with a healthcare professional I come prepared with a list of things that I want to discuss. I also ask to talk through targets and goals which feel realistic and desirable to me.
This style of consultation seems entirely logical to me. A patient brings their day-to-day experience of living with one or more conditions to the consultation and can then benefit from a healthcare professional’s background and knowledge. I feel my consultations are more productive and that I have a more collaborative relationship with the healthcare professionals I meet with. I feel I am being listened to and we work together to find solutions to my problems.
Sometimes this approach does require a change from the healthcare professional. They need to be prepared to revolve around the patient’s needs and be comfortable letting you take a role in finding solutions.
My increased confidence and knowledge has enabled me to make decisions I wouldn’t have been able to previously. For example; I no longer take insulin for my type 2 diabetes. I found it very restrictive and I now manage the condition by leading a healthier lifestyle.
Being more involved and proactive in my health has been hugely beneficial to me. I feel far more positive about my health as I am in control of my conditions rather than them controlling me.