Healthier, happier and in control – with a one-page profile

When Paul’s support team realised that he didn’t have a one-page profile they knew they needed to create one with him straight away. Paul owns his own home and is supported to live the life he chooses. His profile contains some very specific information about how to support him well, crucial to his ongoing health and wellbeing.

Paul's one-page profile

Paul’s one-page profile

Written by Tracey Gudgeon, Care UK

Paul is a gentleman who lives by the sea in North Wales. He owns his own home which he bought after his parents passed away. Paul is a fabulous artist and the other love of his life is his religion.

Previously Paul lived at home with his mum and dad and has been supported since buying his own home.

It was summer time and Paul was due to review his service again. He’s already had a Person-centred review so knew what it entailed and was looking forward to it. On the day of his review though, Paul decided it was far too nice a day to sit around  and he changed his mind about what he was going to do that day. He made up a picnic and went off on a long walk up the Orm, which is one of his favourite places and takes him past his old family home.

Paul told his team manager that he was happy for his team to spend time thinking from their perspective about what was working and not working and it was whilst doing this it was noticed that Paul did not have a one-page profile.

A one-page profile captures the important information about a person on one sheet of paper. It celebrates their gifts and talents as well as highlights what is important to them and how best to support them. It was considered essential that Paul should have one so his team set about working with him to create one at the earliest opportunity.

Paul’s one-page profile does have very detailed information around what is good support in relation to his cigarettes which play a big part in his daily routines. Paul’s world can revolve around when he is having his next cigarette and although he wants to cut down, he finds it hard to do so, just like so many other people.

The one-page profile supported Paul’s team to do their job better and have a clearer understanding of just exactly what was important in Paul’s life.

Having the one-page profile highlighted the need for better consistency with the staff rota , and helping Paul know just who was coming on to support him . This helped with Paul’s anxieties which in turn meant he didn’t feel the need to smoke as much.

The other benefits from completing a one-page profile has been that Paul has been able to feel healthier and lost some weight (which certainly helps when walking along the sea front or up the Orm). This has again been due to information highlighted around the need for good support with menu planning , budgets and shopping.

Speaking out – not suffering in silence

An example of how a one-page profile can help communicate the essential information needed to support a child with a long term health condition in school. Jessenia doesn’t like to make a fuss and can find it difficult to speak out about what she needs. Her one-page profile does this for her and ensures she is not put at risk because of a lack of information or understanding.  

Jessenia's one-page profile

Jessenia’s one-page profile

Written by Jessenia’s mum 

My eight year old Jessenia attends Oxley Park Academy and is in Year 4.  She was born with a congenital heart defect and has had four major heart operations since her birth, and many minor procedures. The last one was when she was five years old.  Jessenia is a child that likes to please the adults around her. She wants to be recognised for her well-behaved manner and strives for this recognition. She has a maturity about her and relates more to older children and adults.

As Jessenia’s mum I felt that she needed a one-page profile because physically she looks well, so unless you know of her heart condition, it would be difficult for someone who didn’t spend much time with her to recognise that she was having difficulty.  PE is quite demanding for Jessenia and although she wants to join in with her classmates she can’t always keep up and often just needs to sit down and rest.

Also walking long distances is very difficult for her as her heart has to work twice as hard as everyone elses and therefore she tires a lot quicker. She is flat footed too and this causes pains in her legs. We wanted to make sure that adults would recognise when Jessenia needed help as Jessenia herself doesn’t like to make a fuss and tends to suffer in silence because she doesn’t want to disturb the class.

Signs of Jessenia needing help can include constant coughing, sweating and tummy pain.  Jessenia finds it hard to eat, drink and breathe together and therefore eats a lot slower than her peers and subsequently needs more time to finish her meal or drink. This is why we asked that she be allowed to eat some of her lunch at break time and be allowed to drink during class time.

Jessenia’s one-page profile is kept in her classroom and also a copy in a central file. It helps her teacher to recognise when she might need some help and also lets her know what Jessenia’s needs might be when she is in difficulty.  It also means that if her usual teacher or teaching assistants are not around, the crucial information is readily available for whoever is in charge

Jessenia has found her one-page profile particularly helpful because it means that she doesn’t have to explain to adults why she is using the lift and why she needs liquids throughout the day.  She lacks confidence and doesn’t like to be put on the spot. The profile has also helped Jessenia because she knows that all the adult staff are aware of her issues and if she finds something difficult she is more comfortable to say so.  She now appreciates that others want to help her and will keep an eye on her.

As her mum, knowing Jessenia has a one-page profile has given me the confidence that all adult staff taking care of her when I’m not there are aware that she has a heart defect and that she is physically unable to keep up with her classmates sometimes. It also means that when she shows real signs of difficulty and may be in trouble, I am reassured that people know exactly what action to take.

Capturing the past, present and future in a one-page profile

A powerful example of how a one-page profile has helped this man reconnect with his passions, improve his relationships and his communication. Ray’s family had become concerned about his health and wellbeing and after he was admitted to hospital, they asked for help to support him well.

Ray's one-page profile

Ray’s one-page profile

Written by Gill Bailey

Eighty year old Ray is full of life and enjoys the company of others. He is a jovial character and loves telling stories about his life experiences. Ray has lived in his first floor flat in Burnley for about 41 years.

When Ray was younger, he had lots of jobs such as working on the railways as a signal man and a train driver. Ray went into the Army for a time with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment and travelled all over the world. He went to Normandy and takes great pride in this.

Ray has always been a very active and sociable man. He has lots of hobbies like collecting books, reading, music of all types and going to the Miners Club where his friend Harry used to take him every third Wednesday to meet up with all the ex-soldiers. They would have a few drinks and then Harry used to bring him home.

Over the last few years however it has become apparent that Ray has not been managing as well as he used to do at home. People were not visiting him as regularly and his home was becoming difficult to move around because he had taken to collecting and storing boxes of papers, books and magazines.

He was beginning to become socially isolated and wasn’t going out as often as he used to. He was not taking care of himself and his health was deteriorating both physically and mentally.

Ray’s family and friends became concerned that he wasn’t coping well, and needed some help to “get him back on his feet.” It was when Ray was admitted to Hospital due to poor mobility, confusion and water retention that a home person-centred review was arranged.  Ray, his son and daughter-in-law, his best friend Harry and support staff were all involved in the review. The aim was to bring together those people who knew Ray best and who could help him get his life back on track.

By developing a one-page profile we were able to capture the things that are important to Ray and more of the things that matter to him and that he wants to be in his life. This has helped in creating activities for Ray and plans to make his life better and more enjoyable and worth while.

It has given his family, friends and those close to him some ideas and plans on how to best support Ray and to identify the things that worked well for him.

During the review lots of very rich nuggets of information about what people knew about Ray and what mattered to him came to light. His past, present and his future were also discussed

Big changes have resulted from the review and the one-page profile. We recognised the need to do more work using communications charts and relationships maps to help Ray in these areas. We also identified the problems he was having in his home, keeping on top of cooking and cleaning and how his difficulty getting out had left him feeling lonely.

Ray has since moved into a sheltered housing scheme in Burnley. There are activities daily in the complex that Ray can get involved in and they have a book club in which they are looking at appointing a new member for the committee. They also have a local cookery class that is being run by the Volunteer Services who collect the group twice weekly and they go to the local community centre and regain confidence, motivation and skills in and around the kitchen so Ray can go back to his own flat in the complex and prepare meals for himself.

The complex provides lunch and evening meals daily, so Ray gets to go and mix with others and tell them his stories. Ray has a key worker who has been matched to him using his one-page profile and they have started visiting the Miners Club again every third Thursday and Harry meets them there for a drink.

Ray is much more relaxed, less frustrated and his life now has more meaning and purpose. He feels valued and he now offers others support. Ray is much more settled and appears happier in himself, smiling. laughing and joking with his new and old friends.




Creating a powerful partnership

An example of how one-page profiles can help match people’s personalities and outlook on life to create a powerful partnership. Carlton matched his one-page profile with his team to help find the right person to support him.

Carlton's one-page profile

Carlton’s one-page profile

Written by: Dimensions

Carlton is a young and active man who shows a great determination to achieve.  Carlton does not use words to communicate and so it is important that the people around him understand him as a person and what he is expressing with his emotions and behaviour.

Carlton, who has a learning disability and some serious health related issues, is supported by social care provider Dimensions.  Carlton produced his first one-page profile with the help of his key worker, friends, family and the support team that knew him best. It was recognised that the people supporting him needed to know and understand him as an individual and everything that he has to offer and the one-page profile could help him to communicate this.

The foundations of his profile were built during Carlton’s first person-centred review, which looked at how Dimensions could best support Carlton as an individual based on his likes and dislikes and what he needed to be healthy and happy.

Carlton’s one-page profile provided the information that helped him and his team find the best staff match for him. It was essential that Carlton’s support staff had the right personality traits and approach. From his one-page profile it was clear that Carlton needed someone with a “can-do” attitude, someone who is active and observant and tender at times. He loves going on holiday twice a year and trying new things and he needed someone who would be patient and supportive of this. One support worker fitted the bill more than any other; Anna. Because Anna too had a one-page profile, which contained many of the things that Carlton looks for in a good support worker, it was easy to match them together. She is creative, energetic, motivated, loves to go out and treats people as individuals and with respect. She also views family as very important, something which she shares with Carlton. The combination of Carlton’s and Anna’s one-page profiles proved to be very useful.

Anna is confident and helps Carlton connect with others, empowering him to do more of what he has outlined as important to him on his profile. In particular, Carlton likes to try-out new things which is a great match for Anna as she loves a challenge. She wants Carlton to be the best he can be and together they have the skills and character traits to make it happen.

As well as being an excellent tool to help match the perfect staff member to Carlton, his one-page profile is a positive display of his gifts, skills and traits. It communicates what others value in him, something which helps new people connect and reminds the people closest to him what a special person he is.

Managing a long term health condition

An example of how a person introduced to one-page profiles in a professional capacity used the approach in their personal life to help manage a long-term health condition.

Jo Greenbank's one-page profile

Jo Greenbank’s one-page profile

Written By Dimensions

Jo is 36 year’s old. She was diagnosed with endometriosis five years ago. There is no cure for endometriosis, but Jo has had a number of surgical and medical treatments to try and manage the condition. In 2011, Jo started working for Dimensions, a person-centred organisation who supports people with learning disabilities and autism, and who use person-centred thinking in all areas of their work.

Jo has been using the person-centred thinking tools as part of her role, but has also come to realise that they can be applied to her personal life and in particular her health. As well as producing a one-page profile for work purposes, Jo decided to create one in relation to her endometriosis  with the aim of assisting her to reflect on what’s important to her when managing the condition, and how others can support her well.

Jo developed her profile by talking with friends and family and thinking carefully about how the condition makes her feel, and what she wants the people around her to know.

Jo has used the one-page profile with doctors, so that they understand what is important to her, especially the need to see beyond the label of the condition.  She has also used it with other people in her life who support her. Often, when in pain, it can be difficult to see things clearly and with perspective, therefore preparing for this at a time when the condition is under control has been helpful. It has given Jo the time and space to think about what really matters.

The one-page profile has empowered Jo to think about getting the balance right between what is important to her and what she needs in terms of support to stay fit and healthy. She will continue to update it and plans to use it in preparation for seeing new doctors throughout the next stage of her treatment.

You can find out about other person-centred thinking tools to help you manage long term health conditions from

What they can achieve still amazes me!

Cath’s journey to being a fitter and healthier person demonstrates how one-page profiles can still bring surprising results, even for those who work with them daily and know their worth.

Cath's one-page profile

Cath’s one-page profile

Written by Cath Barton

In my early forties I became more concerned about my weight, fitness (or rather lack of) and overall health and wellbeing.  I was in the habit of crash dieting before a holiday or big event, only to put the weight back on, ending up feeling deflated and unsuccessful.  I knew I wasn’t alone in this and some people spent their life feeling this way. The difference for me was that I am a Person Centred Planning Coordinator. My day job is to use person-centred approaches. I had the resources and knowledge to identify the things that are important to me, think about the support that works best and make positive changes.  I had even used one-page profiles for myself and family in my personal life but for some reason I hadn’t thought to apply it to my health and wellbeing before now.

I promote person-centred approaches passionately and needed to practice what I preach and use the tools at my disposal to create and support change within my own life.

I decided to develop a one-page profile specifically for keeping healthy. Not to focus on dieting, as I knew that in the past this had been a short term solution, rather to think about what was important to me about keeping healthy and the support I needed to achieve this.

I took some time thinking about what worked well for me, what did good healthy days look like, when did I feel I had achieved, how could I have more days like this? I recorded the information, shared it with my family and put it on our achievement wall in the kitchen where it was easy to see.

I’m constantly amazed by the changes that can be achieved from information recorded on a single sheet of paper.  I feel much more in control of my health and fitness. Simply having the information at my fingertips has helped me to focus.  It’s made me much more positive about exercise too, not seeing it as a chore but remembering how good it feels afterwards.  I’ve even started Pilates and swimming and met some interesting people through this.

I wanted to be able to make long term changes, not quick fixes and my one-page profile supports me to do this, incorporating healthy eating and exercise as part of my daily routine with support and encouragement from those around me.  It will always be a work in progress, to review regularly and keep up to date. But this time I won’t be obsessing over the scales. I’ll be asking myself how I feel.

New learning for me was also how powerful the appreciation section in the one-page profile can be.  It’s not about fishing for compliments or simply having positive words recorded. For me it was recognising what others admired about me, qualities I might not have recognised myself but which boosted my confidence and desire to achieve.  I want to uphold people’s views of me; be determined and strive for success. Having others recognise that I can succeed is a powerful motivator.

So did my one-page profile help to support positive change?  Most definitely!  I’m fitter than I have been for a long time, I’ve found an exercise I love to do and have a good balance in my life.  One of my proudest moments was swimming my first mile.  I’m still amazed by the difference it has made and grateful for the success my one-page profile has supported me to achieve.

Supporting patients with learning disabilities in hospital

How using a one-page profile in hospital can help medical staff support patients with learning disabilities, reducing anxiety for the person needing treatment and ensuring they get the medical attention they need.

Len's one-page profile

Len’s one-page profile

Written by Tracie Gudgeon

Ninety year old Len lives with his three best friends who he has known for 60 years. Len has a mild learning disability and after spending much of his life in an institution he moved into a supported house.

With a fun sense of humour and a warm, affectionate disposition, Len is a well-loved member of his household.  The limited contact Len has with family members makes his relationships with housemates and support workers all the more important.

Despite being in good health generally, Len recently became ill and was admitted to hospital for tests. After a couple of days on a ward Len’s wellbeing began to deteriorate. He’s stopped eating and drinking as he usually would and it was believed that his change in behaviour was because of the unfamiliar environment and people. The decision was made to send him home in the hope that he would feel more settled, but within a few hours of returning he was recalled to hospital after falling ill again.

It was then that a conversation took place with the Patient Liaison Co-Ordinator around the care Len was receiving whilst in hospital. It was obvious that although the Hospital Passport was being used, it didn’t contain the right information for the ward staff, doctors and specialists to know and understand who Len was and what individual support he needed. In response, Len’s team met and within a matter of hours produced a hospital one-page profile to ensure that Len would have the very best support during his stay.

Over the next few days Len remained in hospital but with the one-page profile at the end of his bed and sent electronically so that it could follow him around each department, medical staff understood Len and how to support him. Even the Consultant said ‘it was lovely to have a photo of Len when he was looking happy and well to see the difference in his appearance and understand how he should look.’

As someone that works to support Len, myself and the team firmly believe that the one-page profile helped in his recovery, meaning he was well enough to return back home to the people he loved much sooner. Len’s experience led to his housemates deciding that they too wanted a one-page profile, ensuring that if they went to hospital, staff there would know how to support them. We have been helping them to put these together. Using person-centred thinking tools, we have also completed a “Working/Not Working’ review with the people we support and shared this with the Patient Liaison Co-Ordinator at the hospital, who wanted to understand how she could further improve the hospital experience for people like Len.

Len is currently in good health, full of beans, and back making us all laugh. He is happy, in his own house, with his friends around him.

Seeing clearly at last

An example of how introducing one-page profiles onto a busy hospital ward helped Norman express what was important to him and get the help he needed.

Norman's one-page profile

Norman’s one-page profile

Written by Michelle Livesley

I’ve been working with Spiral Health at their forty-bed rehabilitation Unit, Bispham Hospital helping them to introduce one-page profiles on the ward and it was here that I met Norman.

Norman was not particularly happy when he first came to the ward. He seemed agitated and irritable and desperately wanted to be back in his own home. Hospital is a big upheaval and it is common that people miss their home comforts but it seemed to run deeper than that with Norman. Using the one-page profile template we started to explore what was important to him and how best we could support him during his stay.

Through this exercise we uncovered that the bulk of his unhappiness was related to not being able to see properly to read as his prescription glasses were no longer strong enough. In particular he was finding it hard to read the menu which meant he was frustrated at meal times but had been too proud to say.

Nurse Fran, who I’d been coaching through this process with Norman, made a note on his one-page profile about his eyesight but at first felt unsure about how to help. The unit does not have access to optical services so keen to find another solution – Fran took the information to her Nurse Lead who knew exactly what to try. She had been given a large bag of unwanted spectacles and she and Norman went through them until they found a pair that was just right. Not only did this 20 minute session find Norman a pair of temporary glasses to improve his experience in the short term but it helped him feel understood and valued; a great result.

All patients’ one-page profiles at Bispham are written on a board above their bed, visible to everyone and can be added to as relationships and conversations develop throughout their stay. They provide essential, easy to read information about the person rather than the condition. For Norman, having a one-page profile meant that he got the support he needed to feel happier and more independent during his stay in hospital.

You can read more about Spiral Health’s personalisation journey by following the personalising health blog.

Reducing the pressure on services – A totally different way of looking at things

Kim Haworth

Kim Haworth

Written by Kim Haworth, Central Lancashire Area Commissioning Manager

Central Lancashire has a population of around 425k and in my role as Area Commissioning Manager I am responsible for working with a range of stakeholders including health colleagues, borough and city councils and individuals that support the thousands of people who make up this population.  People often hear the word support and see it as a negative or if not a negative, something that doesn’t relate to them but rather relates to someone less able than themselves. In my experience support is something we all need throughout our lifetime and at certain times we need it more than others. It is my job to ensure that the services and supports we provide in Lancashire meet the needs and wants of our communities; getting people the right services, at the right time and in the right place for them.

One of the big challenges we, like many other regions, face is a growing demand for and increased pressure on our services.  We strongly believe that the solution to this is in building more resilient, better connected communities and we have taken an approach that has not yet been used anywhere else in the country. It is a pioneering approach to consultation and community connecting and it is based on the person-centred thinking principles of one-page profiles and mixed with the age old concept of throwing a great party! A winning combination.

We had four main aims when creating Community One-Page Profiles:

1)      To celebrate the gifts skills and talents that make our communities special.

2)      To develop a pool of resource from the gifts skills and talents of people living in our communities with the aim of connecting them with others that they could then support.

3)      To find out what is important to people .

4)      To find out what good support is.

It isn’t a groundbreaking list of objectives in itself and actually it is probably what most consultation exercises aim to achieve. But it is the way we planned to achieve it that has brought us success, strengthened our communities, empowered individuals and clearly directed us in terms of what support we need to provide, where, when and to whom.

How did we do it? Well we threw a party of course. Actually not just one party – we threw around 20 parties and invited people from all sections of society. In most cases we linked up with local community groups. In every instance we had  the essential party fare (balloons, music , cake) but the twist was that we also brought along a huge pinboard made up like a one-page profile with the key sections; what you like and admire about your community, what is important to you and how best to support you.

Everyone at the parties contributed to the one-page profiles; they told us what was important to them such as good transport links, friendly neighbours and accessible shops. They told us how we could support them well, such as better community initiatives specifically designed for men. They also told us what they liked and admired about their communities and furthermore we looked at what people liked and admired about them as individuals – after all they are the community. From this last list we were able to develop a pool of assets that we could then use to help build resilience within our communities. Someone was identified as being a great baker. Someone else a wonderful listener. Someone else great fun to be with. Each one of these gifts and talents could then be used to support lonely, isolated or vulnerable people within the community. Not only did this approach strengthen  the community and build relationships but it resulted in reduced pressure on services too, enabling them to focus resources on providing the other support that we identified on the one-page profiles as important;  A really powerful example of people directing their own support.

We’ve held over 20 parties and created more than 20 community profiles in the last 10 months and because of this initial success we’ve planned a further 17. The community one-page profiles are on display in public areas and people feel a real sense of ownership over them. It has meant that rather than coming up with a list of problems and issues as is what so often comes out of a consultation, people have come up with celebrations and solutions – a totally different way of looking at things.

As someone who has worked in learning disabilities and with person-centred thinking tools my whole life I really was surprised when I first moved to  older adult care and saw how little person-centred tools were used. My team and I have been working really hard to embed these tools with our partners and the support providers that we work with and introducing one-page profiles within communities to build resilience just seemed like the next logical step.

I strongly believe that this method of consultation and delivery is a formula that could work well throughout the country.  I’d like to see it used in other communities and by other organisations to empower people to direct their own support and uncover the gifts of individuals that can reduce the pressures on our services.

You can see an example of a community one-page profile here.

Really ‘living’ with a long term health condition

Written by Jane Bayley

Jane Bayley's one-page profile

Jane Bayley’s one-page profile

When I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis nine years ago I had no idea of the impact it was going to have on my life.  I thought “Ok, now it has a name…give me the medication that’ll clear it up and I’ll be on my way!” But I soon realised it wasn’t going to be that easy.  I’ve spent the last nine years having regular colonoscopies, stays in hospital, constant medication changes and every enema going.

Back then, I presumed that you got poorly, got a diagnosis, and then got on with it.  I honestly thought that if I struggled on each day, did what the consultant, G.P’s, and specialist nurses told me then I could deal with what was happening to my body. But at 37, single and without any of the confidence I once had, I found that I had lost myself somewhere along the journey. I used to be outspoken and now I found myself letting doctors do the talking for me.

My person-centred journey started when I received a phone call from my GP who thought it was time that I considered surgery. This had always been the last option in my mind and not something I was ready for but I felt so powerless when it was suggested. I couldn’t find my voice to say how I felt. Something had to change. It was then that a colleague at work introduced me to person-centred thinking tools on the ‘thinkaboutyourlife’ website and I started to realise that I could take back some control.

The website was full of tools that I could use to help me deal with living with a long term health condition. As I started using the tools and writing about how I felt, I realised that there were so many things that really upset me about how people treat me and my condition, and the presumptions that people make on my behalf. It was such a good feeling (and emotional at times) documenting how I’d like to be supported and what didn’t work for me. The one-page profile was particularly therapeutic as the process made me analyse what a good day looks like and what a bad day looks like and how loved ones could best support me. Just being able to put some of these thoughts into words had a huge impact.

My one-page profile is blue. Anyone who knows me understands how important that colour is to me, and I even like my photo.  It was taken on a ‘very good day’.  I sent copies to the closest people in my life, parents, brothers, sister-in-law, best friend and ex-husband.  I had no idea what they would make of it, as all this was new to them too.  I was amazed and happy that each person took the time to sit with me and talk about what they’d read.  Everyone said they were surprised how much impact colitis had on my life day-to-day, and I had a few telling’s off for struggling on for so long on my own.

I was able to show my boss and have a very honest discussion about what my needs in the workplace are. I showed my best friend and got her to understand that even when she had my best interests at heart, it didn’t feel good when she questioned my diet or how I was managing my condition. My family read it eagerly and absorbed it well. I felt like they really listened to me after that. Even my 73 year old mum read it and took a short holiday from her ‘mother knows best’ stance before returning with full vigor – I have come to accept that you can’t win them all!

I recently completed a course of intensive acupuncture recommended by my Colitis Nurse, Rachel. I’d finally found my voice and given a very firm and very loud ‘No’ to surgery. I wasn’t ready to live with a bag and I was no longer afraid to say it. Rachel said she would work with me to try all the alternatives. I started the most restrictive diet known to man, cut my working hours and stopped pretty much all my socialising for a fortnight.  It was drastic, and I’m sure if you are reading this it doesn’t sound like much fun, but during those two weeks I went back into full remission and have remained in remission since.

Developing my one-page profile has dramatically improved how I cope with colitis each day. Just being able to communicate to people who are close to me how I feel and the support I need has made me look more positively about the future.  I still get bad days, but I no longer feel like I have no control. My wish is for every person that lives with a long term health condition to use the website, explore and use the tools, and build their own one-page profiles enabling them to regain control of their lives. I wish I’d known about person-centred thinking tools when I was first diagnosed. It has changed my life.