Skip to content

Website cookies

This website uses cookies to help us understand the way visitors use our website. We can't identify you with them and we don't share the data with anyone else. If you click Reject we will set a single cookie to remember your preference. Find out more in our privacy policy.

More about this toolkit

This toolkit is a step-by-step guide to improving processes of care and staff–patient interactions, using a technique called Patient and Family-Centred Care (PFCC). It offers a simple way for health care organisations to show their commitment to patients’ experience of the care they receive while also attending to the wellbeing of the staff who deliver that care.

Bringing together patients and staff to transform health care

In the aftermath of the Francis Inquiry there emerged a national focus on ‘putting patients at the centre of decision-making’. This has translated into a marked appetite across health care to improve quality and patients’ experience. But finding a clear, practical method of taking this forward is not always easy.

Patient and Family-Centred Care (PFCC) is a simple, step-by-step method for understanding what a care experience is like, what needs to change, and which small improvements can make a big difference to patients, families and staff alike. Across the country, teams have implemented the approach to improve services, ranging from paediatric accident and emergency to the care of frail older people, with measurable results.

The toolkit evolved from the Patient and Family-Centred Care programme. This initiative was run jointly by the Health Foundation and The King’s Fund to develop a small number of exemplary hospitals and a team of professional staff and managers who could demonstrate their achievements to others and bring sustainable improvement in patients’ experience and outcomes. It, in turn, built on The King’s Fund and Health Foundation’s earlier Hospital Pathways programme. Although it has been used to date only in hospitals, this approach can be applied to any health care setting.

PFCC was part of The Point of Care programme, which was led by Jocelyn Cornwell. The PFCC toolkit was developed by Bev Fitzsimons, Policy Fellow at The King’s Fund, who ran the PFCC and Hospital Pathways programmes, with writer Eleanor Stanley and video production by Simon Fairway. We hope it will inspire you to carry out a similar project and to share your experiences with us.

Thanks are due to the many people who contributed to this toolkit. They include the teams from the 16 NHS organisations who made this work a success; innumerable colleagues from The King’s Fund and the Health Foundation; the Improvement Faculty, which provided support to participating teams with special thanks to Joanne Watson and Annette Bartley for their contribution to this toolkit; and Tony DiGioia and colleagues from the Innovation Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who originated the PFCC approach and who have generously shared their methodology and resources. We would also like to thank the many patients and staff who dedicated their time and energy to improving health care through the PFCC approach.