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121 Person centred culture in a hospice: myth or reality?
  1. Erna Haraldsdottir,
  2. Kim Donaldson,
  3. Irene Barclay,
  4. Anna Lloyd and
  5. Brendan McCormac
  1. St. Columba’s Hospice, Queen Margaret University


Background Person centred care is inherently integrated into palliative care as one of its cornerstones. Having developed from a pioneering grass route movement to an established organisational structure the culture of palliative care has become increasingly influenced by routine and the need for standardised practice. This has challenged the capacity to foster creative, flexible and dynamic approaches to care that put the person at the centre. McCormack and McCance’s Person Centred Practice Framework (2017) is a theoretical framework that addresses such limitations. Using this framework as an underpinning theory in our research we aimed to assess and develop a person centred culture in a hospice.

Aim To evaluate and develop a person centred culture in a hospice setting.

Method Participatory action research using a cooperative inquiry approach involving key stakeholders within the hospice.

  • Research Group established with staff members being co–researchers

  • Values and beliefs exercise around the meaning of person centred care across the hospice.

  • Baseline data collection including observations and interviews to identify the existing culture.

  • Analysis of base line data and mapping against the Person Centred Practice Framework.

  • Identifying key areas for further exploration and development.

  • Development and implementation of an action plan.


  • Staff relationships and communication, identified as a key area needing further exploration.

  • A fourth generation evaluation (Guba and Lincoln 1989) workshop with all teams in the hospice highlighted a lack of time for staff to reflect on practice and engage in meaningful relationships with each other and thus neglecting the positive impact of effective teamwork.

  • Action plan, including development of stronger team relationships was implemented.

Conclusion McCormack and McCance (2017) consider the existence of ‘healthful relationships’ as central to a person-centred culture. This research highlights a practical approach for teams to explore their own micro level structures in order to develop healthful relationships in teams.

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