Activity 19.1: Reflective practice

Take a few moments to reflect on a recent care experience where you have been involved in caring for a person with a long term condition.

  1. How did you or could you have found out what was important to the person in working together?
  2. In what ways did you enable the person or could have enabled the person to take the lead in their own care?
  3. How did you or could you have found out about the person’s strengths and resources; and how did you or could you have included these in the care plan?

This is principally about patient-centred care. You may have included some of the following responses or you may have some other ideas;

1. Refrain from making assumptions about the person and what is best for them – focus on the person not the condition. Listen, respect and recognise their individuality.

  • Understand that the person has a life, responsibilities, hopes, aspirations, goals, values and beliefs.
  • Know that they have relationships, supports, knowledge, skills, strengths and assets that can help – find out about them.
  • Ask the person – What is important to you? What do you enjoy doing? Who is important you? What, if anything would you like support with? What would you like to do/or continue to do in the future?
  • Consider advocacy services to assist the person in finding their voice.

2. You have already made a good start by finding out what is important to the person – focus on those issues – ask where the person wants to start, involve families if wanted.

  • Provide unbiased, understandable information needed to make choices and decisions about treatment, signpost.
  • Allow time – time to make decisions, go at persons pace, remember not everything has to be done or decided at once.
  • Consider other sources including peer support, other agencies/professionals.
  • Support choices, discuss how this will be happen, roles and responsibilities, resources and funding.
  • Enable the person to write and hold their own care plan.

3. Adopt a curious approach, find out what they are already doing to manage condition, meet their aspirations and work towards their goals – consider resilience, capacity to learn and adapt, motivation, personal values and beliefs – build on this within the care plan.

  • Consider their current connections, include family and other supporters, hobbies, interests, activities in community – focus on maintaining and building on these.
  • Ask the person to complete a strengths questionnaire, how do they use these strengths, how might it be helpful now? (
  • Include in the care plan the persons role and responsibilities.