Patient activation

People must be at the centre of a more sustainable health system with services shaped around their needs and preferences. Patient activation’ describes the knowledge, skills and confidence a person has in managing their own health and care. Evidence shows that when people are supported to become more activated, they benefit from better health outcomes, improved experiences of care and fewer unplanned care admissions.

Patient activation is of particular importance to the 15 million people living with long-term conditions (LTCs) who rely, more than most, on NHS services. By understanding people’s activation levels, in particular, measuring patient activation using tools such as the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) enables care professionals to tailor their approaches to individual needs to improve their health outcomes, ensure a better experience of care and reduce unplanned care admissions.

History of patient activation in the NHS

  • 2014: Kings Fund Report – An Introduction to Patient Activation.
  • 2014-2016: PAM Learning Sets in 5 CCGs and UK Renal Registry.
  • 2016: PAM® licences purchased.
  • 2018: Health Foundation research published in BMJ Quality  and Safety journal.
  • 2019: 100+ PAM® Sites = 138,000 PAM® licences used by April 2019.
  • 2019-beyond: PAM continues to be implemented and scaled up nationally in line with the LTP and UPC.