Objectlve: A more appropriate tool to measure the client experience of person-centred care is required to complement other existing measures of quality. A tool developed in the United Kingdom was trialled to determine its utility with a frail older Australian population. Design: A random sample of clients recently discharged from a sub-acute setting over a 6-month period in 2005 were sent a questionnaire and invited to respond, a reply-paid envelope being provided for the return of the questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised the 20-item tool and space to provide additional qualitative comments. Setting: The inpatient wards of a sub-acute facility in Melbourne. Participants: From the random sample of 144 discharged clients, 78 responded to the questionnaire. Main outcome measure: 20-item Patient-Centred Inpatient Scale (P-CIS) developed by Coyle and Williams (2001). Results: Overall, there was a fundamental core of person-centredness as demonstrated by a ratio score of 0.68. Personalisation and respect dimensions are the main strengths of person-centred care in the health care setting in which the P-CIS was trialled, with personalisation scoring 0.75 and respect scoring 0.77. The miscellaneous components scored 0.69. The findings show that areas of the client experience warranting priority quality improvement effort are specific to the dimensions of empowerment (0.58), information (0.58) and approachability/ availability (0.43). Conclusions: The P-CIS demonstrates the potential to be a contributing component that informs the monitoring and improvement of quality person-centred care in Australian inpatient health care settings.