Skip to main content

COVID-19: Latest Updates   |   Notice: Driveway & Entrance Closure

Patient and Family Centred Care

Patient and Family-Centred Care (PFCC), or Family-Centred Care, is a philosophy of care that values involving the patient and their family in making decisions about their care. It includes honouring a family’s cultural and social background and religious beliefs; making sure directional signs are helpful and make sense to families trying to use them; connecting patients with their families sooner after a surgical procedure; and teaching families to advocate for the patient, the patient to advocate for themselves, and staff to advocate for them when they are unable to.

While health professionals are the experts on health and disease, family members are experts on the patient. Family is also a patient’s primary strength and support. Information from patients and families can be helpful to staff, improve care, and help us design better programs and friendlier systems.

Everyone’s role is important, and what we do together is greater than what either of us can do separately to achieve the best health for our loved ones. It’s why our care is based on partnerships with families, health care providers, and community supports throughout the Maritime Provinces. We encourage you to become an active partner in your and your loved one’s health care.

Partners in Care

The document Partners in Care: Our Shared Rights and Responsibilities, explains the rights of patients and families as well as staff and describes shared responsibilities as partners in their health care. You can read it in English, French and Simplified Chinese. It states that everyone (patients, families, staff, physicians, learners, researchers and volunteers) has the right to:

  • be treated with respect
  • be listened to and be heard
  • be in a place that is safe (physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually)
  • be active partners in care
  • be given information that is needed to provide or receive the best care


There are several opportunities for patients, parents and family members to volunteer at the IWK and contribute their unique experiences and perspectives. For more information, visit our Patient and Family Partners Program page. 

1 Volunteer Opportunities

On This Page: