Having meaningful conversations in health and social care settings


NHS England is encouraging those who work in public services across the country to get involved in the ‘What matters to you?’ Day to encourage more meaningful conversations between people in health and social care settings.

The ‘What matters to you?’ Day is an annual international event, held on 6 June, that encourages and supports a person-centred approach, with meaningful conversations between people who provide health and social care and the people, carers and families who receive it. The campaign is growing, with more than 600 organisations taking part in 2017.

Rather than asking ‘what’s wrong with you?’, the ‘what matters to you?’ conversation is believed to help establish a relationship where those working in health and social care gain a deep understanding of those they are supporting. Through this, they work together to discover what will be of the greatest benefit to that person going forward, to help them live the sort of life that is more meaningful to them.

According to NHS England, the ‘What Matters to you?’ conversation can be started by asking questions, such as:

  • ‘What are the things that are important to you at the moment?’
  • ‘What would you like to achieve as a result of this care or support?’
  • ‘When you have a good day, what are the things that make it good?’
  • ‘Is there anything else you want to tell me that I haven’t asked about?’

Rather than taking more time, NHS England suggests that this approach will reduce demands on those working in health and social care, allowing them to rule out actions that don’t need to be taken and focus on what is needed.

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