Person-centred thinking is a set of values, skills and tools used in Person Centred Planning and in the personalisation of services used by people who need supports provided by social or health care.
Person-centred thinking is described by the UK Department of Health as “the foundation for person centred planning”
The British Institute of Learning Disabilities advocates Person centred thinking suggesting that such tools “can be really helpful in assisting the process of getting to know a person really well”.
A major piece of research into the impact of person centred planning found that the prevalence of person-centred thinking in services was an important condition for services having the capacity and systems for delivering person centred results.
Person-centred thinking tools in common use include one-page profiles, ‘working/not working’, ‘important to/important for’, ‘good day/bad day’, communication charts, ‘doughnut’ of staff roles and responsibilities, relationship circles, learning logs and person-centred reviews.
These tools provide an agenda which a person and the people who know that person best can think together, focussing on what is important to that person, how they wish to live, and then introduce changes that will move towards those aspirations.
Practitioners of person centred thinking suggest that it’s possible to build up from one or two pieces of person centred thinking, piece by piece based on the area of the person’s life that they feel is most important to consider next, this process of building gradually creates a collection of person centred information, equivalent to a ‘full’ person centred plan, and more importantly a range of co-produced actions.