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New system to enable people with long term conditions to remain well at home

Posted on the 10th August 2016

To enable older people with long term conditions to remain well at home and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has successfully won a license from NHS England to introduce a new innovative system that empowers people to manage their own health and wellbeing.

The Trust is now part of a select group of NHS Trusts that will be using a 13 question Patient Activation Measure (PAM13) to assess the knowledge, skills and confidence people have in managing their own health. PAM13 is a system that was developed and tested in the US by the University of Oregon with the aim of helping people to manage their health as a way of helping people lead better lives at a lower cost to the healthcare system.

Glyn Jones, Innovation Programme Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said, “It’s widely-recognised that people who feel in control, empowered and confident to take a lead role in their healthcare have better health outcomes. The Trust is introducing this new system as a way of enhancing its person-centred care and is pleased that we’ve been successful in securing funding for this piece of work. It’s all about measuring people’s confidence to ensure we’re able to pitch training and support at the appropriate level.

“There is compelling evidence that people who recognise that they have a key role in self-managing their conditions and understand the impact they have on their own lives experience better health outcomes. However, the ability to successfully manage the long term conditions varies from person to person. This is why understanding people’s current ability to manage their conditions is important and that’s where PAM13 and our support will be beneficial.”

NHS England has agreed a five-year licence to use the PAM tool with up to 1.8 million people through key NHS change programmes. An early findings report of an independent study into using PAM by the University of Leicester late last year set out how PAM can be used within the NHS, how clinicians and commissioners can value it as a tool to support self-management and the impact of the tool on service provision.

Supporting patients in this way is a fundamental component of person-centred care, a lead feature of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, a key priority for the Health Foundation and a central feature of manifestos and policy guidance from leading patient groups.