PAM learning set

How PAM is working in practice

NHS England has been working with partners through an Action Learning Set to understand how patient activation can increase and encourage person-centred and personalised care in the NHS.

The Learning Set comprises of five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the UK Renal Registry. They are carrying out projects in their local areas to measure patient activation and find ways to support people to become more involved in their health and care.

The projects are being independently evaluated by the SAPPHIRE group (Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research) at the University of Leicester. The evaluation, co-funded by NHS England and The Health Foundation, aims to show:

  • the practicalities of measuring PAM across the NHS;
  • how activation can inform care planning and support self-management;
  • what support clinicians and commissioners need to use the measure effectively; and
  • whether supporting activation can help to improve outcomes, reduce costs and reduce inequalities for patients in the NHS.

The interim findings report from this evaluation focuses on practical lessons and points to consider for organisations who wish to use the PAM, including the:

  • Need for clarity and a full understanding of why the PAM tool is being used and what function it is serving;
  • Whether using PAM purely as an outcome measure is appropriate;
  • Value of PAM in starting the conversation about person-centred care;
  • Challenges of integrating PAM into existing and new services.

The report includes an overview of the PAM-related work being undertaken by the Learning Set up to September 2015. It also features two case studies that focus on using the PAM in frontline healthcare service delivery – in diabetes care and health coaching.

Site summaries from the learning set are now available:

NHS England will use the emerging learning from the PAM Learning Set to develop practical toolkits to support the wider roll-out of patient activation measurement as part of the Supported Self Care programme.

The interim report follows on from an Early Findings report of the evaluation. The final evaluation report will be available in spring 2017.

In this blog post, Ollie Hart, a GP from Sheffield, explains how empowering patients to manage and shape their own health and healthcare is crucial if we are going to realise the Five Year Forward View vision of a more person-centred, personalised NHS.