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TitleJRF Person centred support - Joseph Rowntree Foundation
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Table of Contents
                            Person-centred support
What service users and practitioners say
Person-centred support
The Standards We Expect project
This report
The structure of the report
1 Getting people together: sharing views
	The projects
	The service users
	Involving people in change
	The Get Together event
	Aiming for inclusion
	Exploring different perspectives
	Choice of terminology
2 What does person-centred support mean?
	Putting the person rather than the service at the centre
	Choice and control for service users
	Setting goals
	The importance of relationships
	A positive approach
	Differences in perspective
3 What are the barriers to person-centred support?
	People think they know what you want
	Lack of information
	Money and resources
	Local authority charging policies
	Staff time and approach
	Risk and regulations
	Culture and language
	Negative experiences of user involvement
	Outcome measurement
	Eligibility for support
	Family carers
	Geographic inequality
	Differences in perspective
4 How can we overcome the barriers?
	Improving consultation and involvement
	A positive approach
	Advancing and promoting good practice
	Direct payments
	Service users working together
	Support and building confidence
	Small steps
	Core values
	Differences in perspective
5 Discussion and recommendations
	Key issues emerging
Appendix 1 The Standards We Expect project: participatory approaches to developing person-centred support
	The project team
	Project aims
Appendix 2 The Get Together day programme
Appendix 3 Feedback form from the Get Together event
Appendix 4 Resource list
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Person-centred support

What service users and practitioners say

Michael Glynn and Peter Beresford with Catherine Bewley, Fran Bran� eld,
Jabeer Butt, Suzy Croft, Kiran Dattani Pitt, Jennie Fleming, Ronny Flynn,
Charles Patmore, Karen Postle and Michael Turner.

Opinions of service users, practitioners and managers on person-centred

This study examines person-centred support, a key new concern in public
services. It does this by bringing together for the fi rst time the views, ideas
and experience of service users, face to face practitioners and managers.
Government is committed to ‘personalisation’, ‘self-directed support’ and
‘individual budgets’ in social care, aiming for increased choice and control for the
people who use services. This is a move away from traditional, ‘one-size-fi ts-all’

The research asks:

• what person-centred support means to people who use, work in and manage

• what barriers exist to making services person-centred; and

• how the obstacles might be overcome.

The report builds on new evidence from the national Standards We Expect
project, bringing together for the fi rst time direct experience in 20 areas of the
UK. These include different service sectors and a wide range of service user
groups. The report will be of value and assistance to everyone interested in
social care, health and taking forward the new reforms.

Page 2

This publication can be provided in other formats, such as
large print, Braille and audio. Please contact:
Communications, Joseph Rowntree Foundation,
The Homestead, 40 Water End, York YO30 6WP.
Tel: 01904 615905. Email: [email protected]

Page 66


3 What are the barriers to person-
centred support?

Having established what people understood by the term ‘person-centred support’,
the next issue we wanted to explore with them was what they saw as the barriers
to such person-centred support. Participants identifi ed a large number of barriers.
These could be big or small barriers; barriers which could be seen as long or short
term, local or national, relating to broader structural issues or more personal and
psychological in origin. Some of the barriers people identifi ed could be seen as
relatively minor matters that could readily be put right. Others were much more
fundamental and likely to be common across many settings. They could be seen to
suggest a number of principles for effective person-centred support.

A number of themes relating to barriers emerged. Wherever possible, we have
grouped together comments relating to these. Some of these themes specifi cally
relate to characteristics which people associated with person-centred support and
which we identifi ed in the last chapter. Others can be seen as barriers that may
apply to accessing services more generally. In some cases, the lack of elements or
conditions which people strongly and directly associate with person-centred support
emerge as key barriers in the way of taking it forward.

Page 67


What are the barriers to person-centred support?

People think they know what you want

Service users particularly, highlighted barriers which they felt were caused by the
assumptions of face-to-face workers and family carers that they knew what was right
for service users – ‘what you can and cannot do’. Such assumptions pre-empted the
possibility of hearing and including what service users had to say.

They believe they know what we need and they don’t accept it when we
say they are wrong or tell them what we really need.

People think they know what you want.

These assumptions, they said, were frequently not accurate. They could make it
diffi cult for service users to make their voices heard. Attitudes based on assumptions
of ‘knowing best’ could be a signifi cant barrier to person-centred support on an
individual basis and fi tted poorly with a person-centred approach to practice and

One participant said that some staff

Lack the right values i.e. [that] every person can contribute, has gifts and
is valuable.

In� exibility

One person commented:

[Services] saying ‘we’ve always done it this way’ is a barrier.

Such a backward-looking approach, which is not open to new ideas or individual
preferences, is at odds with person-centred support. Many service users referred to
services being infl exible and either unwilling or unable to respond to individual needs.
Several service users spoke particularly about the infl exibility of social services
‘home-care’ services.

I was told ‘we’ve only got a ‘slot’ at such and such a time’.

If you want home care you are told when you can have it basically.

Page 131


Appendix 4

Risk, heath and safety

Concerning fl exibility, infl exibility and health and safety practices

Alaszewski, H., Alaszewski, A. (2005) ‘Person-centred planning and risk’, in
Cambridge, P., Carnaby, S. (eds) Person-centred Planning and Care Management
with People with Learning Disabilities. London: Jessica Kingsley

Denney, D. (2005) Risk and Society. London: Sage

Gurney, A. (2000) ‘Risk management’, in Davies, M. (ed.) The Blackwell
Encyclopaedia of Social Work. Oxford: Blackwell

Kemshall, H., Pritchard, J. (eds) (1996) Good Practice in Risk Assessment and Risk
Management 1. London: Jessica Kingsley

Kemshall, H., Pritchard, J. (eds) (1997) Good Practice In Risk Assessment and Risk
Management 2. London: Jessica Kingsley

Manthorpe, J. (2000) ‘Risk assessment’, in Davies, M. (ed.) The Blackwell
Encyclopaedia of Social Work. Oxford: Blackwell

Parton, N. (1996) ‘Social work, risk and the blaming system’, in Social Theory, Social
Change and Social Work. London: Routledge

Patmore, C. (2003) Understanding Home Care Providers, Section 4. York: Social
Policy Research Unit, University of York. Website:

Patmore, C., McNulty A. (2005) Caring for the Whole Person: Home Care For Older
People which Promotes Well-being and Choice, Chapter 7. Well-being and Choice
Publications, Available at

Stalker, K. (2003) ‘Managing risk and uncertainty in social work: a literature review’.
Journal of Social Work, No. 3, pp. 211–233

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