Saturday, 9 June 2012

Some great DH LTC Strategy blogs

Since my post when up, the Department of Health have had some really great articles on their website! It is so encouraging to see the discussions and hopefully they will contribute to a really effective and successful LTC strategy!

Simon Eaton questioned the patient-centric approach clinicians say  they already have (quite rightly!). He says that "understanding the patient's needs simply isn't enough . . . we need to encourage and support their role as active self-managers." He questions the imbalance between the perceived importance of biomedical care vs. consultation skills - something I definitely feel is skewed towards the former!

Christine Harrison highlighted that the grass roots reality of long-term conditions (specifically neurological ME) is very different to the strategy and policy ideas and understanding. Identifying GPs as gatekeepers is important - targeting them with condition educational programmes could be the most effective approach to reduce the mis-diagnosis that is so common for rare and complex diseases?

Amy Edwards has a refreshing and grounded approach as an Occupational Therapist (OT), which is a pleasure to read! As an OT she understands the importance of a "functional approach . . . an understanding of the patients' condition and how they may be affected psychically, cognitively and psychologically." Working towards goals with the patient creates significant outcomes. She also commented that these interventions can improve independence, quality of life and "help the person to be seen as a whole"  which are all enormously important (so much so that I feel they can improve the physical symptoms too to a degree).

Looking forward to seeing some more articles up, and the continuing debate! I think it is really encouraging that the DH is setting up this very wide reaching consultation with all the stakeholders, and becoming increasingly aware of the issues that matter the most to patients with LTC. I look forward to seeing the points made by everyone on the site being transformed into a much-needed holistic strategy that works on the ground!

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