RCGP sets the pace for Person-Centred Care

So what is Person Centred Care and why is it different from the traditional approach?

Person Centred Care brings together the medical and social model of care in the conversation with a person about their long-term health problems. The objective, when possible, is to empower people to have a greater sense of ownership and control of their conditions.

Person-Centred Care diagram

PCC has a number of components including health coaching, social prescribing, shared decision making and a number of proactive processes in the GP surgery, such as Collaborative Care and Support Planning.

The social prescribing link to individual GP practices is an essential part of the process and is now being developed across the UK as Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health Boards see the benefits both for the local population and also as part of resolving the workload crisis in General Practice.

Increasing numbers of practices around the country are also exploring how to introduce Social Prescribing into their daily work, thinking who would benefit especially those who are socially isolated and lonely and turning to their doctor for non-medical problems.

Supporting our membership 

The College through its Clinical Innovation and Research (CIRC) has a well-developed network of mainly GP champions who are committed to working differently. The champions’ network is UK wide and while the College is committed to expanding the network, the hope is that in turn, individual champions will develop their own local network. 

One potential area for development may be through the postgraduate training schemes once the new curriculum has been published.

We will also be supporting our membership through a number of workshops across the country as well as the Person-Centred Care toolkit which can be found on our website. 

Developing quality standards 

PCC is an evolving concept and while there is good work being undertaken in local areas, there is still confusion about definitions, quality standards, information sharing concerns and medical legal anxieties. CIRC working with its network and partners will define some of these concepts and key quality standards.

As PCC develops it is also recognised that this will require new research and research techniques especially as we look at its impact on GP workload and changes to population health and wellbeing.

Our top-tips include:

  1. Involve the whole surgery – especially the practice manger – to understand why Person-Centred Care (PCC) is important and how it will help in the long run
  2. Start small with a defined cohort and develop from there 
  3. Find out if there are any other local practices trying to work in this way 
  4. Contact your Clinical Commissioning Group or Health Board to find out more about how Social Prescribing is being introduced locally
  5. Recognise that PCC will not work for everyone. There will always be some who will struggle initially with the process. 

If you want to know more, please get in touch by emailing us at: PersonCentredCare@rcgp.org.uk

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