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Person-centred values are the guiding principles that help to put the interests of the individual receiving care or support at the centre of everything we do. Examples include individuality, independence, privacy, partnership, choice, dignity, respect and rights.

In health and social care, person-centred values include individuality, rights, privacy, choice, independence, dignity, respect and partnership. Let's look at these in more detail.

Individuality - Each person has their own identity, needs, wishes, choices, beliefs and values. ‘One size fits all’ does not work when it comes to providing care and support.

Rights - The Human Rights Act 1998 is the main legislation that sets out the rights of people in the UK. You have the right to speak your mind and be kept safe from harm, as well as the right to respect dignity and equality. You should make sure an individual’s rights are respected, not only by yourself but by other people involved in their care.

Privacy - Everyone has a right to private space and time when they need it. Privacy affects how and where care and support are given, especially when it involves personal hygiene or intimate procedures. Privacy includes not talking to anyone about the individual’s private information unless they give permission and it is on a need-to-know basis to improve their care and support.

Choice - Each individual should be supported to make choices about their care and support. They should be given information in a way that they can understand so they can make informed choices. When working with individuals who cannot express their wants, needs and wishes in words, you must find other ways of communicating. Additional training and supervision can help you to develop these skills.

Independence - Promoting an individual’s independence means to look at what they can do for themselves and empower them to do as much as possible for themselves. It does not mean leaving someone to cope alone but agreeing to the support they need and want.

Dignity - Treating somebody in a dignified way means to treat someone with respect, valuing their individuality and their ethical and moral beliefs. In order to provide the dignified care, you need to have an open and positive attitude. Take time to do things their way, don’t make assumptions about how they want to be treated and be aware of how personal care may affect their dignity.

Respect - Respecting someone means believing and showing that they have importance as an individual. It means that they have their own opinions and feelings and that even though you may not agree with them, you do respect them.

Partnership - You work in partnership when you involve the individual and their family and work alongside other workers. The key to a successful partnership is good communication and trust; valuing and respecting what others have to say.