The Activated Patient

Care Planning

People with Long Term Conditions must be supported to plan their care with their clinical team according to their needs and preferences.  This has been an un-delivered target of successive government for far too long.  Without clear Care Planning and Care Plans care becomes fragmented with too many omissions and duplications.  Care Planning and Care Plans will help focus care where it needs to be, making care both more personalised and more efficient.

Self Care Support

Patient and their carers spend the vast majority of the year looking after themselves and only a tiny proportion with a health professional. It is therefore essential that we support patients and their carers to look after themselves, to keep themselves healthy and to know what they should/ can do when they become unwell.  There has been far too much focus on what happens when patients are in front of health professionals and not enough of how we can support patients and carers when they are at home and living their lives away from any clinician. Patients and carers want much more support to self care and it is imperative that we help them to do so.

Shared Decision Making

It is very rare in healthcare for there to be only one treatment option for a given condition.  Usually there are a number of treatment options.  Patients need and want to be supported to make a healthcare decision which is right for them at that time.  Patient need:

  1. Tools such as Patient Decision Aids
  2. Decision Support such as “Health Coaching”
  3. Receptive Services which support and welcome “activated” patients

Patient Leadership

The Public, Patients and Carers have a unique perspective in health and health services – that of the user/client/ customer.  Whatever name is used the position is unique and it is clearly inappropriate for healthcare clinicians or managers to try and speak on behalf of the user.
So far patients, carers and the public have often been excluded from healthcare commissioning, design and delivery and where they have been included it has been through “involvement” or “engagement” or “representation”.

Just as we speak of Clinical Leadership and Managerial Leadership, so we should speak about and use Patient Leadership – to work alongside clinical and managerial leaders to transform healthcare for the better. At Programmes for Health we refer to this a “The Holy Trinity” of healthcare leadership.