Centrality and Person Centred Care

The term ‘centrality’ can relate to many different things. Essentially, it means to be at the centre, or core, of something. In this context, centrality means to be at the centre of the person. This can mean what it means to be that person: how that person appears from a holistic perspective, taking into consideration the person as a whole, rather than represented wholly by an aspect or characteristic (REF). Recognising the centrality of an individual incorporates the understanding of an array of their needs, preferences, experiences and even their future ambitions.

Understanding a person holistically recognises the centrality of the person. Recognising the centrality of an individual is important for a range of reasons. Within my personal experience (and present within literature) are two paramount factors highlighting this importance. The first, is that recognising centrality reduces the negative effects of labelling a person. Labelling has been attributed to contribute to poorer outcomes for individuals, reinforces stereotypes and even coincide with stigma. (REF). The second is that understanding the person as a whole allows care providers to focus on the needs of the individual on a more managed, individualised and thorough scale, otherwise known as person centred care (REF).

Person centred care is care planned to the needs of the person as an individual. As previously discussed, it considers and incorporates the needs of the individual as a whole. In addition, it means that the individual is at the centre of the care and it is focused around them (REF). In order to facilitate effective person centred care it must involve the individual from the beginning of the planning process, ensure that the care is not planned to meet the needs of another person or group and focuses on the independence and choices of the person. When this is done, individuals can be as independent as possible, have and make choices, work with professionals and family, be socially...