Responsibilities of Senior Management Teams in implementing Person Centred Planning

Dr Caroline Winstanley
Dr Caroline Winstanley

Person Centred Planning was becoming a key feature in policy and legislation and Senior Management Teams had five main responsibilities in implementing it within their organisations, Dr Caroline Winstanley, PCP Coordinator and Researcher, Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin told an interactive webinar of HMIEast Region in February.   Maureen Browne reports.

“PCP, which  ensures that a person is in the centre of their services is important for identity, self-esteem, and well-being. It help people access services that they want and when they need them and helps people be more actively involved in this process.”

Dr. Winstanley said the webinar would explore what Person-Centred Planning looked like within an organisation, including the managerial roles within this process.

The five responsibilities of Senior Management Teams were:

  • Have oversight of PCP across the Organisations.
  • Reflect the importance of person-centredness in their organisational management.
  • Review and reflect on reports from across the service.
  • Make decisions on allocation of resources.
  • Direct policy.
  • Provide oversight If organisations had a steering group for PCP.

Dr Winstanley said the responsibilities of Directors of Services were:

  • Ensuring that PCP was established across the Service Area.
  • Set a good example.
  • Audit PCP across the service.
  • Identify resource needs and access additional resources.
  • Annual reviews of services should include PCP.
  • Reporting outcomes of PCP, emerging themes, issues to the Senior/Executive Management Team. This should be a fixed agenda item.
  • Liaising with the organisations’ PCP steering group or Co-ordinator around quality and planning.

The Principal responsibilities of Clinicians were:

  • Ensuring that the work of all clinicians was integrated into the Person-Centred Planning process.
  • Reviewing and updating the information contributed by clinicians to PCP.
  • Ensuring that clinical practices were in line with best practice and the person was at the centre.
  • Supporting staff to attend person-centred planning meetings.  This should be viewed as an important part of the clinicians clinical responsibilities.

Dr Winstanley said PCP  was not one approach,  but a range of processes from the same philosophical position. It was learning how a person wanted to live and how to achieve this. It was moving away from focusing on the person’s disability and how to manage it (social model). It was not assessment of the service or the adults’ needs.  It was greater choice and standard of living for people with disabilities or complex medical needs. The emphasis was on policy and best practice. 

The principles of person-centred planning were identifying and acting on aspirations, strengths and concerns of individuals and exploring how they would like to change their lives.  It did  not set limits on a person’s life, it mobilised social networks, set goals and action, reviewed and updated them. PCP was now incorporated in legislation and planning by the United Nations and in Ireland by the Department of Health, the HSE, the National Disability Authority and HIQA.

Dr Winstanley said that in implementing PCP, we could look at what was important to the adult persons receiving services – their likes and dislikes, where they liked to go, who was important to them, how best to communicate with them and their gifts, qualities and skills.

One-page profiles, detailing people’s likes and dislikes, might be very helpful for staff. For example, people might like to be called by a particular version of their name, wish to be listened to as they chatted about their family, have a particular mug for their drinks, eat their meals in a particular room, get up at particular times, sit in particular places, have bubble baths, hold something while they were getting ready to get up or getting ready for bed

“We could explore what a good day and a bad day look like for them and what needs to happen so they more good than bad days”.

Dr. Winstanley said that then there were the aspects of decision making and Assisted Decision Making, – who was the best person to support this, were adults receiving services given the best chance to make a decision themselves, what they wanted from end-of-life-care and how the format they wished for their funerals.

“PCP is about turning dreams into goals, if persons receiving services can do this themselves, if it realistic and compliant with the rest of the agenda and setting deadlines.”

She said it was important to remember that adults should be involved in goal setting.  “Don’t dismiss or put limits on goals, be positive about risk-taking, assign responsibilities and put time scales on goals and review them and the progress made.

“Each organisation should have a written commitment describing the ethos and culture that it would like to emulate. This  should include a way of ensuring legislative and wider policy are followed. It should be a practical document to guide staff in the context, how their practices should look and it should be helpful for staff performance, development and accountability.”