PAM learning set

How PAM is working in practice

From 2014 to 2016, NHS England worked 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 is comprised of five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the UK Renal Registry. They carried 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 were 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, aimed to show:

  • the practicalities of using 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 for patients in the NHS.

The evaluation of the learning set focused 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.

NHS England has been using the learning from the PAM Learning Set to develop practical toolkits to support the wider implementation of  patient activation measurement.

The final evaluation report from the evaluation of the PAM learning set is available on the University of Leicester website. This follows on from the Interim Findings report and the Early Findings report of the evaluation published earlier. The reports include an overview of the PAM-related work undertaken by the Learning Set and feature case studies that focus on using the PAM in frontline healthcare service delivery – e.g. in diabetes care and health coaching.

Site summaries from the learning set are available below:

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.