Overcoming Challenges in Person-Centred Planning: A Comprehensive Guide

Person-centred planning is at the heart of effective healthcare and social services, ensuring that care is tailored to the unique needs and capabilities of each individual. However, care workers often face various barriers when completing assessments for person-centred planning. These challenges can stem from family dynamics, individual capacity, safeguarding concerns, and other associated risks. In this article, we’ll explore these challenges and provide strategies to overcome them, ensuring a truly person-centred approach to care.

Managing Family Relationships and Differences of Opinion


  • Conflicting Views: Family members often have differing opinions about the best course of care, complicating the assessment process.
  • Dominating Family Members: Some family members may dominate discussions, potentially overshadowing the individual’s wishes and preferences.
  • Lack of Consensus: Reaching an agreement among family members about care decisions can be difficult and time-consuming.

Strategies to Overcome:

  • Mediation and Facilitation: Use mediation techniques to facilitate discussions among family members, ensuring everyone’s views are heard and considered.
  • Individual Focus: Ensure the individual’s preferences and needs are the primary focus. Conduct one-on-one interviews to capture the individual’s perspective without family influence.
  • Clear Communication: Communicate clearly and consistently with all family members, providing them with the same information to avoid misunderstandings and ensure transparency.
  • Professional Support: Engage social workers, counselors, or mediators to assist in managing family dynamics and resolving conflicts.

Capacity and Consent


  • Assessing Capacity: Determining whether an individual has the capacity to participate in the assessment process can be challenging.
  • Varied Capacity Levels: Individuals may have fluctuating or partial capacity, making consistent involvement in planning difficult.
  • Legal and Ethical Concerns: Ensuring assessments and decisions comply with legal requirements and ethical standards regarding consent and capacity.

Strategies to Overcome:

  • Capacity Assessments: Conduct thorough capacity assessments using standardized tools and guidelines to determine the individual’s ability to participate in decision-making.
  • Advocacy and Support: Involve advocates or legal representatives to support individuals with limited capacity, ensuring their rights and preferences are represented.
  • Best Interests Decisions: When individuals lack capacity, make decisions based on their best interests, involving family and professionals in the decision-making process.
  • Training and Education: Provide training for staff on the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (or relevant legislation), ensuring they understand how to assess capacity and obtain consent properly.

Safeguarding Concerns


  • Identifying Risks: Identifying potential safeguarding risks during the assessment process can be difficult, especially if individuals or family members are reluctant to disclose information.
  • Balancing Risk and Autonomy: Balancing the need to protect individuals from harm while respecting their autonomy and right to make choices.
  • Mandatory Reporting: Understanding and adhering to mandatory reporting requirements for safeguarding concerns.

Strategies to Overcome:

  • Training and Awareness: Provide comprehensive training on safeguarding policies and procedures to ensure staff can identify and respond to risks effectively.
  • Risk Assessments: Conduct detailed risk assessments as part of the person-centred planning process, considering all potential safeguarding issues.
  • Open Dialogue: Foster an environment of trust and openness where individuals feel safe to disclose concerns. Use open-ended questions and active listening to encourage communication.
  • Multi-Agency Collaboration: Work collaboratively with other agencies and professionals (e.g., social services, healthcare providers) to address safeguarding concerns and develop comprehensive support plans.

Other Associated Risks


  • Complex Needs: Individuals with complex needs may require multidisciplinary assessments, which can be challenging to coordinate.
  • Resource Limitations: Limited resources and time constraints can hinder the ability to conduct thorough and comprehensive assessments.
  • Changing Circumstances: Individuals’ circumstances and needs may change rapidly, requiring ongoing reassessment and flexibility.

Strategies to Overcome:

  • Multidisciplinary Teams: Utilize multidisciplinary teams to bring together various expertise and perspectives in the assessment process, ensuring comprehensive evaluations.
  • Effective Resource Management: Prioritize and allocate resources efficiently to ensure that assessments are thorough despite time and budget constraints.
  • Regular Reviews: Implement regular reviews and updates to care plans to accommodate changes in individuals’ circumstances and needs.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Train staff to be flexible and adaptable in their approach, ready to respond to changes and new information promptly.


Completing assessments for person-centred planning presents several challenges, from managing family dynamics and assessing capacity to addressing safeguarding concerns and other risks. By employing strategies such as effective communication, comprehensive training, multidisciplinary collaboration, and ongoing reviews, care workers can overcome these barriers. This approach ensures that assessments are thorough, respectful, and truly person-centred, enhancing the quality of care and empowering individuals to live fulfilling lives.

By focusing on the unique needs and strengths of each individual, and involving them and their support networks in every step of the care planning process, we can create a collaborative and supportive environment. This not only promotes well-being and positive outcomes but also respects the autonomy and dignity of those receiving care.


About the author

abdul razak fuseini

simping and brimming about nature.
life??? you only live once la !!!!