‘In a world where most healthcare demand comes from patients with long-term conditions, the focus must shift to creating health rather than responding to ill health. That means giving people the information, power and control to stay healthy, manage their conditions and choose their treatments.’
Foreword, Alan Milburn and Stephen Dorrell
The NHS faces a challenge over the next decade of meeting growing and more complex demand within tight financial constraints. There are already many examples of doctors, nurses, managers, community workers and patients trying out innovative models of care that show how this challenge can be met. The task for policymakers is to ensure that we have a healthcare system that supports these empowering models and enables them to spread.
Attempts to empower patients so far have focused on making acute services like hospitals more responsive, but we now need to give people greater control over their own health in their homes and communities, long before acute care is required, or in recovery after hospitalisation.
This report reviews many of the promising, empowering models of care that are already being tried out all around the UK, such as:
- social prescribing models, which address people’s social, emotional and practical, as well as medical needs
- brokerage and integration models, which mean that services are joined up around the person rather than people having to navigate fragmented services
- peer support models, which mobilise the knowledge, skills and empathy of people with similar conditions
- asset-based community development models, which focus on strengthening people’s capabilities so they are less dependent on services and can lead independent lives
- technology-enabled care plans, which provide people with the tools and data needed to better manage their condition themselves.