As is true for countless industries the world over, the ways by which we do things and carry out our work can and often do change over time. While Social Care has been no stranger to the waves of change brought on by digitisation, another major change within the sector has been the push towards adopting a “person-centred” approach with regard to how care and support services are delivered. Read on to learn more about what Person-Centred Care is, and why Providers across the world have made, and are continuing to make the transition towards Person-Centred Care Planning (PCP).

The “Time and Task” Approach of Care Planning

In days gone by, Care has oftentimes been depicted as being a “transactional” practice, whereby staff’s instructed priority would have been to ensure that they deliver the items of care and support listed to individuals as listed on their respective care plans, with the emphasis and focus being placed on the completion of those given tasks. This depiction of Care and Support Services was indeed accurate. Providers were tasked with ensuring that the activities that had been assigned to staff members to oversee the completion of were ticked off and carried out.

This approach towards Care is now referred to today as the “time and task” approach to Care, as the core focus of said approach was to ensure that items on a person’s plan would be ticked off as “completed”, and they were only allotted a certain amount of time within a person’s overall care plan.

The “time and task” approach failed to place the emphasis of the care being delivered upon what was, and still remains to this day, the most important aspect of Social Care; the person supported. The focus was instead placed upon being seen to be “efficient”, by way of assigning and completing care items as part of a person’s daily plans, making Care and Support activities more of a transactional, work-focused process. Despite Social Care’s core focus and purpose being that of caring for people and enabling them to live better, more fulfilled lives, this was all-too-often not the mantra of the “time and task” approach of old.

Two checkboxes are seen on a piece of white paper, one ticked with blue ink, while the other is empty. A blue coloured plastic pen is visible lying on above the checkboxes.
In the past, Care has oftentimes adopted a “checkbox” approach when it comes to delivering Care Plans. The emphasis of Care was not placed where it should have been; on the Service User.

What makes Person-Centred-Care Planning Different from Other Care Planning Approaches?

Thankfully, just as technologies can change and develop for the better over time, so too can people’s perceptions as to how things should be done. Increasingly in the Social Care Sector, traditional “time and task” methods are being replaced by an approach that emphasizes empowerment and inclusivity. This new mindset prioritises the well-being of individuals with Disabilities and Neurodiverse Conditions, including Autism.

This newer and fresher approach towards Care is referred to as “person-centred care”. Although it is difficult to capture the full meaning and significance of “person-centred care” in a few succinct words, person-centred care is, at its core, “about focusing care on the needs of the individual”. Care planning and its delivery is no longer a matter reserved only for a Provider and its staff to be concerned with, but also the individual being supported. If care planning is to be based around the individual and their respective desires and needs, then it is only fair and just that the person supported is to also be involved and have a direct say in how their lives are led.

What is the core Element of Person-Centred-Care?

As previously mentioned above, it is difficult to exactly define what Person-Centred-Care is and what it is made up of. PCP may look a little different from one Provider to the next. However, an integral cornerstone of all implementations of PCP is the involvement of the supported person themselves with regard to the design and detail of their care plan.

Having the person supported be actively involved in their own care planning is the core aspect that sets Person-Centred Care apart from the “time and task”-driven approach of yesteryear. If a care plan is to be truly centred around the person being supported, then it only makes sense for that person to have a fair, entitled, and independent say in how they are going to be supported within their daily lives, helping them to feel enabled to live better, more fulfilling lives.

Care needs to be Carried out “With” People, not “For/To” them

Typically across both Health and Social Care settings, supported people will have had things done “to” them or “for” them, rather than having been done “with” them. Carrying out care and support activities “with” the person supported is key to delivering person-centred-care, as it affords supported people the compassion, dignity, and respect that they deserve when it comes to care planning and living their own lives.

Two hands are seen holding white jigsaw pieces across from one another against a black backdrop.
Person-Centred-Care is all about collaboration between Care Providers and the Supported Individual. Truly Person-Centred-Plans can only come together with input from both sides.

The Benefits of Person-Centred-Care for Providers and Service Users

Resource-Savings and Service Optimisation: PCP has obvious benefits for not only the person supported, but also for Providers too. By having discussions with supported individuals about the care and support that they would like to receive, it also helps those support items and resources that are deemed unnecessary to be identified too.
Identifying those care and support items which service users do not view as being beneficial or essential to their plans helps Providers to save on resources, both in terms of finances, as well as staff’s time, meaning that more resources can be allocated to those areas which service users deem to be of most benefit to their own lives, which in turn helps to increase the overall quality of care that is being delivered.

Greater fulfillment and independence development: A key benefit of PCP for the person supported comes in the form of having a more direct say in how their care plans and lives are structured. By being enabled to have an active say in how their lives are structured, supported people feel a greater sense of control and empowerment within their own lives. This sense of real control helps supported people to build confidence within their decision-making abilities and themselves, helping them to achieve a greater sense of independence.

Delivering better quality care: Most importantly, a Person-Centred approach to Care Planning helps to ensure that people supported receive an overall higher quality of care in their daily lives. It does so by ensuring that no essential element in the eyes of the person supported is missed or neglected by their care plan. Delivering better quality care, of course, is the main goal that all involved in Social Care should strive towards each and every day.

Key features of Person-Centred-Care Planning

For Providers to successfully implement a Person-Centred approach with regards to Care Planning, there are multiple key values and elements that must be upheld at all-times. They are as follows:

Using first-person language in care plans: For people to feel as though their plans are truly their own, items within their plans should be written in first-person terms where suitable. Doing so helps the service user to feel more in control of their daily lives, and emphasizes the fact that the actions they are carrying out are being decided on and done by themselves, allowing for a greater sense of empowerment and independence. For example, rather than John’s plan saying “John’s teeth will be brushed at 9.30am”, a person-centred care plan should read “I will brush my teeth at 9.30am.”

Plans are made according to a person’s desires and needs, not the existing capabilities of the Care Provider: If care plans are to be developed according to the principles of Person-Centred Care, then plans must be created and implemented based on the needs of the supported individual, rather than based off of any resource-related constraints of the Provider. If something that a person requires as part of their care planning is not available, then all possible efforts should be made by the Provider to make that resource available. For example, if equipment for a particular sporting activity is not to-hand, then that equipment should be sourced by the Provider.

Service users are made to feel fully supported by staff: Service users must receive the full support of the staff that care for and support them with their plans and daily lives. For example, if the person supported wishes to learn how to tie their shoelaces on their own, the staff member must allow the service user the time and support necessary to do so.

Frequent consultation and discussion must be had with the person supported to help them decide how their care plans should be designed: Delivering Person-Centred Care is impossible without gathering frequent feedback from the person supported, as that person’s desires or needs may change over time. Failure to update plans appropriately in-line with the supported individual’s desires and needs will lead only to wasted time, resources, and disappointment and frustration for the person supported.

Do not be risk-averse: To enable supported people to strive for and live the most fulfilling lives that they can, Providers must encourage those individuals to take risks, within reason of course, to pursue whatever it is that they desire. In the past, Care has predominantly focused on getting those tickbox tasks completed, whilst simultaneously avoiding risk wherever possible. Risk is an inherent element of so many activities that we undertake in life, so to live in absolute avoidance of any degree of risk would limit the enjoyment and quality of life of the person supported severely.

The word "feedback" is written in white chalk on a blackboard, with a white line drawn underneath.
Frequent feedback and input from Service Users is one of the key elements needed if Person-Centred-Care is to be properly implemented by Care Providers.

How iplanit Enables Person-Centred-Care Planning

iplanit has been Person-Centered since its inception. Having been developed and continuously iterated upon through years of experience and feedback gathered directly from Care Providers, iplanit stands as the most Person-Centred Care Management and Planning software solution available on the market today.

The Person Portal, which features an adaptable interface with various accessibility options, is specially designed for service users themselves to access their iplanit plans. Through the Person Portal, service users can message members of their Circle of Support and staff members, upload videos, pictures and sounds to help them in following their plans, as well as access the calendar function, to help them to stay informed of any events that they have coming up. Service Users can also invite members of their Circle of Support to view the areas of their plans that they want them to see, helping to allow friends and family to gain greater insights into the lives of the person that they love and support, as well as maintaining discretion for the Service User where necessary.

iplanit has a range of inbuilt capabilities to support the co-production of plans and their management with the wider Circle of Support. Aspirico have also, over the years, codified hundreds of Person-Centered-Planning templates, many of which cover commonly used approaches across Specialist Care, and some of which are configured to Provider-specific practices.

Our rich collection of Provider-configured-planning templates cover areas including, but not limited to; finances, risk, Essential Lifestyle Planning, and Positive Behaviour Support, ensuring that we are able to offer Specialist Providers the type of plans and planning templates that cater to their needs and most importantly, the needs of the people that they support.

Find out how iplanit can help your Organisation to Implement Person-Centred-Care Plans

Person-Centred Care, while not yet a universally adopted approach across Social Care, is undoubtedly the way forward for delivering high quality care that enables supported people to live fulfilling lives.

If you would like to learn more about how iplanit can enable you to deliver high quality, Person-Centred-Care Planning within your organisation, book a demo today using the form below. You can also get in touch by email –, and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn for the latest on all things Care and iplanit!