There is limited consensus about what constitutes humanly sensitive care, or how it can be sustained in care settings. A new humanised care assessment tool may point to caring practices that are up to the task of meeting persons as humans within busy healthcare environments. This paper describes qualitative development of a tool that is conceptually sensitive to human dimensions of care informed by a life‐world philosophical orientation. Items were generated to reflect eight theoretical dimensions that constitute what makes care feel humanly focused. An action research group process in 2014–2015 with researchers, service users, healthcare professionals in two diverse clinical settings (stroke rehabilitation and dermatology) was used. Feedback on conceptual content, transparency of meaning and readability was then gained from a panel in Sweden and third‐year student nurses in the UK. The tool can be applied to attune staff to human dimensions of care, offering items which point to concrete examples of humanising and dehumanising features of practice in ways that have not yet been fully captured in the caring literature. Based on theoretically led experiential items, with dedicated focus on what makes people feel more, or less than human, it may offer improvement on available assessments of care.