The importance of asking ‘What Matters To You?’
Asking 'What Matters To You?' is about asking, listening and understanding what matters to an individual in their life.
Too often, conversations with those whom we support in the health and social care environment can drift into asking ‘what’s the matter with you?’, focusing on the negative, and failing to deliver outcomes that actually matter to people.
By shifting to having ‘What Matters To You?’ (WMTY) conversations, we put the individual at the heart of decisions around their health and care, and allow the time and space for them to share what is important within the wider context of their life. Only then can we deliver on the outcomes that matter to them.
Here are five key benefits to embedding WMTY conversations within your organisation and services:
- Person centred care and improved outcomes: By focusing on what matters most to people, a WMTY approach ensures that their values, preferences, and goals become the central focus of their care. It helps those providing care and support tailor their services to meet individual needs, promoting a more personalised care experience. In turn, this personalised approach has the potential to improve health and wellbeing outcomes by aligning care with peoples’ goals, values, and lifestyle choices.
- Improved communication and trust: Actively listening to people and engaging in conversations about their priorities fosters better communication and understanding between people and those providing their care and support. This leads to increased trust, as people feel heard, respected, and involved in their own care decisions.
- Increased empowerment and autonomy: Recognising what matters to people allows them to take an active role in their care journey. It empowers them to make informed decisions and actively participate in the decision-making process, promoting a sense of autonomy and ownership over their health and wellbeing.
- Support for carers and families: Implementing a ‘What Matters To You?’ approach recognises the important role of carers and families in the care journey. It acknowledges their needs, concerns, and perspectives, allowing others to provide support and resources to help them effectively contribute to the wellbeing of the person they care for.
- A broader understanding of health and wellbeing: By focusing on what matters most to patients within the broader context of their life, those providing care and support can strive to improve not only their physical health but also their emotional, social, and spiritual needs, contributing to a broader quality of life.
Overall, implementing a ‘What Matters To You?’ approach in health and social care can lead to more person centred, compassionate, and effective care, resulting in improved care experiences, better health outcomes, and enhanced support for carers and families.
Starting a WMTY conversation can be as simple as asking:
- ‘When you have a good day, what makes it a good day?’
- ‘What would you like to achieve as a result of this care or support?’
- ‘Is there anything else you want to tell me that I haven’t asked about?’
- ‘What are the things that are important to you at the moment?’
Watch our short film below, where we worked with Riverbank Resource Centre in Stirling to create a ‘What Matters To You?’ Tree for staff and residents as space to share and learn what matters to each other.
End of page.