Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Lessons from the Year of Care

The Year of Care is a programme based in the north of the country and has been focused on created a reproducible and effective way to embed personalized care planning into routine care. Although like most big pilots it was mainly concerned with the big LTCs (diabetes, asthma, heart disease), the lessons from it are applicable to most long-term conditions. 

The Year of Care highlighted the importance of information as a key component of routine care. For example, diabetic patients were given information about their test results ahead of the care planning appointment. Sue Roberts (Chair of Year of Care Partnerships) said "putting information exchange at the heart of the routine clinical encounter significantly improved patient experience and engagement, and altered the power relationships with clinicians".

The other important finding was that "these benefits were only seen in the context of supportive systems and attitudes". This places additional emphasis on the "the importance of a new mindset for clinicians as the driver of these changes".  

It would be great to see some of these ideas used in pilots for more rare long-term conditions, where information may be not be so cut and dry like blood sugar in diabetes - surely in these cases, information is all the more important because of its relative rarity!

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