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RCP supports findings of National Voices study on person-centred care

Research from National Voices concludes that NHS services still do not give people adequate control of their own health and care, and there is no reporting of whether people’s care is coordinated across health and social care.

The Person-centred care in 2017 study is a coalition of over 160 health and care charities, looking at key dimensions of person-centred care as reported by patients and service users themselves. It has found that just 3% of people with one or more long-term conditions reported having a written plan for their care and support.

Commenting on the release of the report, RCP clinical vice president Professor David Oliver said:

National Voices has done a great deal of commendable work on describing and defining what matters to patients and their families in a readily understandable way, including a focus on care planning and shared decision making with doctor and patient as partners.

In future, the outcome for patients should be as much about the impact of illness or treatment on their life and their ability to live it as well as possible as it is around hard outcomes like survival or physical symptoms. However, we still don't routinely measure what matters to patients and families in a consistent, structured and routine way, and care planning and formal care coordination are still the exception not the norm.

The RCP’s clinical director for quality improvement and patient safety, Dr John Dean, added:

Despite the best intentions of clinical teams to provide person-centred care, many services are not currently designed with that as a key outcome. We believe that clinical services need redesign and a focus on continuous quality improvement underpinned by high-quality evidence and measurement. The RCP is committed to supporting clinical teams with patients to deliver these changes.

Notes to editors

Media contact

Joanna Morgan, Care Quality Improvement Department communications manager, Royal College of Physicians