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A National Senior Manager for the New Care Models programme explains why her mum drives her passion for improving care.
I frequently use my mum as a frame of reference when thinking about what multispecialty community providers (MCPs) are doing to improve care and support for patients and communities.
As a “young” 74-year-old she has, like others of her generation, developed long term, disabling or limiting conditions. For her, this means more interactions with health and social care services.
Whilst I have worked in both commissioner and provider roles in organisations across the NHS for over 20 years, I have equally learnt significantly from my mum’s experiences as a patient.
As a patient (and my mum), I understand that she expects a person centred experience that recognises her individual goals. The trust she has in her GP and other health professionals is paramount to understanding her condition and self-care, enabling her to manage diabetes and high blood pressure, whilst balancing the desire to maintain her independence.
Understanding of her conditions and independence are vital to her overall a sense of wellbeing.
This is why my work with the multispecialty community provider, where care is built around the patient and the wider registered population, is so important. Because of my mum’s experiences, I recognise that care and support needs to be delivered in a way that recognises the needs of the individual but also the wider determinants of their health.
This is a key feature of many of the vanguards who are bringing together the rich insights of different professionals, clinical and non-clinical, health, social care and voluntary or community sector to develop support which more accurately reflects the way people live. These services operate within and work with the local community and make it easier for people to access the services they need.
Interestingly, as a way of driving change, all of the vanguards use different methods for personalising their services. Everyone has a relative or a friend that can personalise this process of change. It’s all about listening to what’s important to the individual.
Each vanguard is developing and working in a way which recognises that for some people what might be important to their overall wellbeing are the little things like finding out if there is a service to get the lawn cut regularly during summer.
These are the types of concerns Wellbeing Erewash has focused on through their community resilience approach and Erewash Time Swap a project ,which allows people to offer their time and skills, such as home DIY and garden maintenance and receive time back from other people with different skills in return. For others, it’s about having accessible specialist services through enhanced primary care which can provide support for self-care enabling an individual to continue working whilst receiving treatment.
There are so many real examples which demonstrate how vanguards across the country are making a difference to patients and communities. Integrated teams from across a range of providers are learning from each other, broadening and sharing knowledge which in turn improves quality and patient experience.
The vanguards are also recognising the innovative way that advice, support and care can be delivered using technology through monitoring. For example All Together Better Dudley has introduced ‘Sense.ly’ – a virtual nurse platform for patient engagement and chronic disease monitoring. Whilst Better Local Care, South Hampshire have introduced eConsult, an online triage tool which gives patients access to their GP without attending or phoning the surgery. Each of these examples enhances the interaction between patients and clinicians.
Where patients find it hard to access the myriad of services available to them, the introduction of care navigators and wellbeing coordinators is a great solution that can help identify what support is needed and how to access it quickly and easily.
These services could range from advice on housing to joining a knitting group, and this integration with community services is helping to form stronger connections between health and voluntary and community services. All of these very different initiatives combined within each of the MCP’s deliver a truly integrated personalised experience, recognising that different people require different care or support.
There are so many factors which impact on our perception of health and wellbeing and the vanguards. Through the person centred approach we have been able to improve the experience for so many people across the country in the last two years.
As we focus on embedding and spreading their approach I recall a conversation with a GP from Salford, who was surprised when he asked me: “What’s really, really important in healthcare?”
I replied: “My mum”, followed by, “With her as my frame of reference my energy and commitment doesn’t falter and if we can improve things for her through the new care models approach, we can impact on millions of others across the country.”
Who are you passionate to improve things for?
- Follow Yvonne on Twitter: @YdrYvonne.