Empowering peer leaders and healthcare professionals together

This is a guest post from Stephen Lupton, Personalised Care Manager (Lived Experience) in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Personalised Care Group. 

The first quarter of 2021 saw the Personalised Care Institute and NHS England/Improvement’s Lived Experience Team commit to working together to empower peer leaders and health and care professionals.  This partnership not only adds further weight to the aim for 75,000 health and care professionals trained in personalised care by 2023/24, it also acknowledges the support people with long-term physical and mental health conditions need for them to play a more proactive role in their health and care. 

This is an exciting and important development that goes right to the heart of personalised care.  It reflects the shift in relationship between clinicians and patients that will help personalised care reach 2.5 million people by 2024 – the ambition set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, which also aims to double that again within a decade. 

This shift in relationship is an essential feature for personalised care to become business as usual for the NHS.  The Personalised Care Institute’s target to train 75,000 health and care professionals by 2023/24 addresses the workforce needs to deliver on this. 

The PCI has been established to equip health and care professionals with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to deliver personalised care.  The Lived Experience Team’s Peer Leadership Development Programme has been established to ensure patients and carers are also equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need, to help people understand the more proactive role they can play in their own health care. 

The Peer Leadership Development Programme is a personal development programme – a series of free courses hosted online – and we’re aiming for at least 4,000 people to have benefited from this by 2023/24. 

The long-term success of personalised care reaching people depends on strong leadership and this can take many forms.  There are clinicians leading the way, driving the personalised care agenda.  There are also people with lived experience, or “Peer Leaders”, pioneering and leading on this. 

The Programme develops the skills people with lived experience need to help them work in equal partnership with health and care professionals, shaping and influencing how personalised care is delivered and aims to develop 500 Peer Leaders by 2023/24.  A network has also been established to support this. 

This joint relationship between the Personalised Care Institute and Lived Experience Team for me is the essential joining together of both sides of the conversation which will ultimately mean that the health and care professional and the patient and carer will have the knowledge, skills and confidence they both need to have an empowered relationship. 

What is most exciting for me about us working together is the shift in relationship that it’s modelling.  This behaviour shift for both health and care professionals and patients or carers is key to unlocking the full potential of personalised care.  It feels entirely fitting for the Lived Experience Team to now be working with the Personalised Care Institute, and we’re delighted to be in this partnership. 

For more information about the Peer Leadership Development Programme visit here.

Lived Experience Team

Personalised Care Group (NHS England and NHS Improvement)

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