The Online Knowledge Center

Table of Contents

What is this module for

  • To be able to develop the one page profile into a person centred plan
  • To understand the difference between a person centred review and a planning meeting
  • To be able to facilitate a person centred review or planning meeting

What is it about

The module uses the principles tools and skills from module one to facilitate a review meeting. It explores the need build on the one page profile to develop a detailed and informative plan to be able to support an individual in a way that makes sense to them. It addresses the history of Essential Lifestyles Planning and how the approach has developed from its origins in Maryland University in 1989 when Michael Smull and Susan Burke Harrison were asked to develop an approach to support people to return to their home communities from institutions and residential schools. The module explains how in the person centred thinking tools have become established practice in the development of personalised services within the UK and how person centred review meetings are used to plan the on-going support and development for the person. Participants are encouraged to debate the difference between this person centred meeting and styles such as Path and Map which John O’Brien describes as the purpose being ‘To describe a desirable future as part of the community, and the actions that people are undertaking to achieve this’.

How can the message be delivered

As with all modules participants use their own experiences to practice the tools. The facilitator demonstration and the practice reviews involve the real life experiences and responses from the group. The person centred review invites the person, family friends support staff and professionals to meet in a comfortable environment where the person and their family feel confident and involved in the process. Typically posters are taped to the walls with headings:

  • Who is here
  • What we like and admire about the person
  • What is important to ….now
  • What is important to… in the future
  • What needs to happen to keep … healthy and safe
  • What’s working and what’s not working from ……perspective, the families perspective, others perspective
  • Questions to answer
  • Action plan

The facilitator demonstrates the method with a focus person who the group have spent time getting to know by speaking about important objects in their life which they have brought to the training. They then step through the process; by introducing and explaining the meeting, setting ground rules, asking people to share something that they like and admire about the person which is recorded on the poster by the recorder, all participants writing or using pictures or graphics on the posters to give their views and thoughts under each heading, then the facilitator using the information on the posters to develop an action plan. The meeting finishes with a closing round inviting participants to say something that they have appreciated about being in the persons meeting.

Unlike many professional meetings which are led by professionals and focus on what is wrong in the person’s life, it gives the opportunity for everyone to participate and have their voice heard equally. It focuses on the positive aspects of the person but addresses the issues they may be facing. It invites professionals to gain the information they need to meet their statutory and professional requirements but within a framework that enables everyone present to think about what is important to the person.

Participants consider how to prepare the person, family and friends and support staff for the meeting and the importance of creating an environment which maximises the inclusion of the person in the meeting and their specific needs including communication, mobility, space, lighting, seating, sensory aspects etc.

Participants explore the importance of quality when gathering and recording person centred information, which include the detail required so that family friends and staff have the specific information they need to support the person really well. 
Additional person centred thinking tools may be included to support this process.

Tips for Training

  • To have break out rooms so participant can work in different groups without distraction when practicing the review
  • To have plenty of wall space to put posters on the walls, masking tape often works better than blue tac.
  • Get permission to put posters on the walls before booking training rooms.
  • Ask participants to prepare for the training on module one by identifying who will be the focus person and facilitators.
  • Ask focus people to bring their objects to talk about themselves.
  • Reassure participants that the practice sessions are to enable people to 'have a go' in a safe environment, facilitators are not being tested and the group is there to support one another.
  • Focus people only have to share what they wish about themselves.
  • Give time for group work to enable participants to examine and compare other approaches which they have learned about in other modules.

Further references

BOWERS, H., BAILEY, G., SANDERSON, H., EASTERBROOK, L., MACADAM, A. (2008): Person Centred Thinking with Older People. HSA Press. 
BAILEY, G., NEILL, M. (2006): Quality in Person Centred Planning
BENNETT, T., CATTERMOLE, M., SANDERSON H. (2009): Outcome Focused Reviews: A practical guide
CAMPS, S. (2010): Celebrating Families Toolkit. HSA Press
LUNT, J., BASSETT, J. (2007): The Best of Both Voices. Person Centred Thinking and Advocacy. HSA Press, 
NEILL, M., SANDERSON, H., SMITH, H., BAILEY, G., CARTER, N, HUGHES, A., JONES, V.: Person Centred Thinking Day Services and Beyond. 
Person Centred Thinking Mini Books series HSA Press 
Person Centred Thinking Cards. HSA Press
RITCHIE, P., SANDERSON, H., KILBANE, J., ROUTLEDGE, M. (2003): People Plans and Practicalities: Achieving change through person centred practice. Joseph Rowntree Foundation
SANDERSON, H. (2010): Habits for highly effective staff: Using person centred thinking in day to day work. 
SANDERSON, H., KENNEDY, K., RITCHIE, P. GOODWIN, G. (1997): People, Plans and Possibilities: Exploring Person Centred Planning
SANDERSON, H., TAYLOR, M. (2008): Celebrating Families. HSA Press
SANDERSON, H., MATHIESEN, R. (2003): Person Centred Reviews.
SMULL, M., SANDERSON, H. (2005): Essential Lifestyles Planning for Everyone, HAS Press
SMULL, M., BOURNE, M.L., SANDERSON. H. (2008): Becoming a Person Centered System: A brief overview of what we are learning in the USA and UK. 
Support Planning Cards. HSA Press
THOMPSON, J., KILBANE, J., SANDERSON, H. (2008): Person Centred Practice for Professionals. Open University Press
WERTHEIMER, A. (2007): Person Centred Transition Reviews.
WILLIAMS, T., SKELHORN, L., MATTHEWS, A.: Total Communication: Person Centred Thinking and Practice. HSA Press


Homepage of Helen Sanderson Associates with many materials to download 
Podcasts of the Learning Community of Person Centred Practise: Michael Smull introduces person centered thinking tools
Helen Sanderson Press Homepage – many books and material on person centred thinking to order
Inclusion Distribution - many books on person centred planning and thinking to order