A Health Foundation briefing explores the potential of increasing patient activation for better self-care in the management of long-term conditions (including asthma, diabetes and depression) and reducing avoidable hospital admissions.
“ …patients who were most able to manage their health conditions had 38% fewer emergency admissions than the patients who were least able to. They also had 32% fewer attendances at A&E, were 32% less likely to attend A&E with a minor condition that could be better treated elsewhere and had 18% fewer general practice appointments”.
It appears reducing the use of certain NHS services and resources may be compatible with improvements to people’s quality of life, when patients are supported in managing their long-term conditions appropriately. Self-care could help prevent an estimated 436,000 emergency hospital admissions and 690,000 attendances at A&E per year.
Deeny, SR. Thorlby, R. [and] Steventon, A. (2018). Reducing emergency admissions: unlocking the potential of people to better manage their long-term conditions. London: Health Foundation, August 2018.
This relates to:
Barker, I. Steventon, A. [and] Williamson, R. [et al] (2018). Self-management capability in patients with long-term conditions is associated with reduced healthcare utilisation across a whole health economy: cross-sectional analysis of electronic health records. BMJ Quality and Safety. August 23rd 2018. [Epub ahead of print].
National Self Care Week 2018: Choosing Self Care for Life (Self Care Forum)
The Self Care Forum’s awareness week this year falls between November 12th – 18th 2018. This year’s theme is “Choosing Self Care for Life”.
Self Care Week 2018: Resources. Online [Bradford; Yorkshire]: Self Care Forum, 2018.
Comprehensive Model of Personalised Care
Self-care is a fundamental component in NHS England’s “Comprehensive Model of Personalised Care”:
Comprehensive model of personalised care. [Online]: NHS England, October 2018.
Use of NHS 111 (NHS England)
Possibly of interest, on the use of NHS 111 services to ease pressures on frontline services:
Record numbers of people getting urgent NHS help over the phone. [Online]: NHS England, August 25th 2018.
Community pharmacies, too, have their role:
Community pharmacies: promoting health and wellbeing. NICE Guideline [NG102]. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), August 2nd 2018.
Other Proactive Interventions to Keep People With Long-Term Conditions Well at Home: Recent NHS England Integrated Care Case Studies
Sandwell’s iCares scheme, which helps people with long-term conditions at high risk of hospital admission, has avoided an estimated 17,000 nights in hospital and saved the NHS £7 million.
17,000 hospital nights and £7m saved for NHS through early treatment ‘iCares’ scheme. [Online]: NHS England, August 2018.
Frail elderly people in West Dorset are monitored via a “virtual ward”’ to help keep them out of hospital:
Frail elderly on ‘virtual ward’ keeps them well at home and out of hospital. [Online]: NHS England, August 2018.
Multi-disciplinary cooperation in the form of “NHS and Social Care Hubs” in Wakefield West Yorkshire, which involves health, social care, housing, voluntary and community organisations working collaboratively, helps to keep people at high risk well in the community and out of hospital.
“ …we need a system that supports a person’s complete needs rather than treating each illness or care problem in isolation”.
NHS and social care hub helps people at risk stay well and out of hospital. [Online]: NHS England, August 2018.
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ “Please Write to Me” Initiative
Plain English and respectful, compassionate person-centered communication in medical correspondence could potentially improve patient involvement. Most outpatient clinic letters should be sent directly to patients, with copies sent to GPs.
Doctors told to ditch Latin and use ‘plain English’. London: BBC Health News, September 4th 2018.
This relates to:
Please, write to me. Writing outpatient clinic letters to patients. Guidance. London: Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, September 2018.
In reality, it may not be possible to please all of the people all of the time; when it comes to plain and simple English.
NHS ‘female parts’ gynaecology definition slammed. [London / Leicester]: BBC Health News / BBC Leicester News, September 5th 2018.
Email not Letters: the Medium is the Message?
“The rest of the world runs on email – and the NHS should too”. Matt Hancock: Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
Send patients email not letters, GPs told. London: BBC Health News, February 13th 2019.