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Always Events: an innovative person-centred approach to optimising care


Team members from the Safety, Skills and Improvement Research Collaborative (SKIRC) have just completed a one-year Health Foundation-funded project on “Designing and testing ‘always event’ and person-centredness concepts in multiple care settings” 

Always Events

Originally conceived by the Picker Institute, the ‘Always Events’ concept offers a person-centred, quality improvement approach to enhancing patient experiences.  Always Events are co-designed with patients (and other care partners), which are then implemented to support optimal patient and family experiences, and improved outcomes.   

Reported Care Improvements and Innovations

Participating care teams gathered patient feedback which contributed to the development of Always Events.  Agreed Always Events were then linked to a quality improvement process.  Reported changes and improvements included:

  • Named medical staff for patients 65 years and over.
  • GPs are increasing consultations from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. 
  • Introduction of new morning and afternoon slots for patients with dental emergencies.   


Whilst significant challenges and enablers were apparent, the Always Event concept was positively supported by all participating care teams across different settings.  

“This has directly involved a vulnerable group of patients who don’t normally get to express their thoughts on their care.”  [Pharmacist] 

“It’s been brilliant for the staff as well as the patients… because as well as improving care for the patients, it also made life easier for the staff over dealing with repeat prescriptions.”  [GP practice] 

The project team will now further test, spread and disseminate the concept through a range of education and service programmes across NHS Scotland.  

Dr Nancy El-Farargy,, NHS Education for Scotland.  

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