The little things that matter in providing person-centred care

In the caring field as in so many others, it’s often the little things that make the biggest difference. Yet these can also be the things that are easiest to forget.

There’s a lot of attention in the health and social care world at the moment on two separate campaigns which aim to remind people about some of the little things that really matter.

Hello, my name is… is a campaign started by Dr Kate Granger who was terminally ill with cancer. During a hospital stay, she realised many of the staff looking after her didn’t introduce themselves before delivering her care.  Believing that such a basic aspect of communication is vitally important, she launched her campaign to remind health professionals that introductions are the first step in providing person-centred, compassionate care.

Most of us who’ve needed to receive care can relate to how it can leave us feeling vulnerable, disorientated and anxious. This can be exacerbated by knowing that our healthcare professionals know a lot about us, yet we know nothing about them.  A simple introduction can often start to right the balance and make any complex discussions that follow easier.

On a similar vein is What Matters To You? Day.  An NHS Scotland initiative started in 2016, this campaign aims to encourage more meaningful conversations between people who provide health and social care and those who receive it.

Again, this is another example of how asking one simple question can make an enormous difference to the experience and support people receive.

By asking people what is important to them about their care - and acting upon it - you instantly give them some control and involve them in the decisions that affect them.

Working at Leuchie where our focus is on delivering a five star service to our guests, naturally I support both of these campaigns wholeheartedly.  I do find it sad, however, that while we’ve come so far in so many aspects of care, for some, the basics of communication have fallen by the wayside.

What matters to me is that we remember how important all the little things are.

Mairi O'Keefe, CEO, Leuchie House. Published in The East Lothian Courier 8 June 2017.