Personalised Care – empowering people and clinicians for better, more equitable health outcomes

By James Sanderson, NHS England Director of Personalised Care

Despite the obvious challenges facing clinical teams over the past 18 months it is amazing to see a continued commitment to continuous improvement of working, including ways to integrate and embrace new techniques and approaches. 

Launched 12 months ago, the Personalised Care Institute (PCI), has a bold ambition  to change lives by empowering people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to feel more in control of their mental and physical health. 

Despite the backdrop of NHS pressures and shifting expectations, I’m pleased the PCI has continued to develop and deliver their high-quality training programmes and establish partnerships across the health sector to enable better personalised care approaches. This work will have delivered a positive impact on the lives of patients across the country. 

To help mark the anniversary of their launch, the PCI conducted a survey of almost 4,500 NHS appointments. The results showed people are more likely to understand the advice and information they receive, be motivated to follow that advice, and feel in control of their own care and recovery, if they experience personalised care. 

We know that when people feel they have been listened to and their opinions are valued, they are more likely to be empowered, and this can greatly improve health outcomes. The survey also found that nine out of ten patients interviewed stated that they felt a personalised care approach would help them to manage their health issues more effectively; as the approach changes the focus from ‘our service is what you need’ to ‘how can we meet your needs’. This shift from service outputs to patient needs is a core principle of personalised care. 

It has also been great to see the partnership between NHS England & NHS Improvement’s Personalised Care Lived Experience team and the PCI.  This partnership has already helped bolster both organisation’s ambitions to train an increasing number of health professionals in the delivery of personalised care, helping to contribute to the PCI’s ambition of 75,000 heath and care professionals being trained in personalised care by 2023/24. 

As the NHS continues to work towards recovering from the last 18 months, as well tackling health inequalities, personalised care is arguably more important now than ever. Through the increased awareness of and uptake of interventions like Shared Decision Making, social prescribing and personal health budgets we, and with partners like PCI supporting  expansion, we can make a difference to the recovery of our health system,  and provide a genuine beneficial difference to the care and lives of thousands of people.

The ambitions of the PCI are entwined with those set out in Universal Personalised Care and the NHS Long Term Plan: to empower and engage patients in their care to bring about better outcomes for their mental and physical health. I’d like to congratulate the PCI and all involved in establishing the organisation on a very successful first year.

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