Supporting people to take control of their own health

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Support people with long-term conditions to be confident in self-care, managing their own health and taking as much control as possible.

Delivery date:

  • ongoing

To do this we will:

  • provide people with clear and consistent information, and digital and online support
  • encourage social prescribing so GPs and other health and care staff can refer patients to a wide-range of local services run by voluntary and community sector organisations
  • support health and care staff to assess how well individuals and carers can manage their own health and tailor support accordingly, through a standard assessment called a Patient Activation Measure (PAM).

It is better for people because:

  • people have a better quality of life when they understand their illness and take control of their own care
  • the more people can confidently manage their own health, the less likely they are to have unplanned trips to hospital
  • more involvement with voluntary and community organisations can be better for people’s health than starting a cycle of reliance on the NHS.

It is better for the health and care system because:

  • better self-care means fewer GP appointments for minor problems, freeing up around an hour a day for every GP  to spend with other patients
  • every £1 invested in self-care frees up to £3 to invest into other services by, for example, reducing the number of unplanned overnight stays in hospital.

Key facts:

  • people with long term conditions spend just three hours a year on average with healthcare staff so are self-managing almost 100 per cent of the time
  • more than 75 per cent of people with a long term condition said they would feel far more confident about taking care of their own health if they had guidance and support from  professionals or others with the same condition
  • 60 per cent of people with long term conditions in NW London already use digital health apps to help manage their own health, and many more would do so if recommended by health professionals.  

Expected outcomes:

  • 60,000 patients will have been assessed for their ability to confidently self-care through a Patient Activation Measure (or PAM) by March 2018
  • new apps and other digital support for patients with diabetes tried, tested  and ready to implement by April 2018
  • understandable and consistent material for the public rolled-out through 2017.