Today the Integrated Care and Support Pioneers have their inaugural workshop. Anya de longh will be talking to representatives from the pioneer areas about what personalisation really means from the perspective of someone living with several long term health conditions. Here, she shares her thoughts:
It is a real privilege to talk to the integration pioneers about personalisation and what that means to me, as someone who lives with several long term health conditions.
I was delighted if rather surprised to see today that I am in a new list of top 30 charity CEOs on social media. Only 2 years ago I was a self-avowed sceptic about social media, dismissive of LinkedIn, averse to Facebook (still am) and wary of Twitter. I reluctantly began tweeting under the National Voices @NVTweeting account in January 2012, only after gentle if irresistible encouragement from our communications lead Jules Acton. Within 5 days I was chafing at the constraints of an organisational account and began tweeting as myself.
The new contract for England’s GPs from 2014 is a significant demonstration of two things: the increasing momentum towards joined up policy on out of hospital care, and the queasy tension it can raise for patient organisations.
Everywhere I go, people are talking about building the House of Care and putting in place collaborative care and support planning. It all looks so simple doesn’t it? Ask people to set a goal, tell them what local support is available to help them get there and you’ve got a basic care plan. Add in a few pieces of information (medical data and details of who to contact in case of emergency) and there it is - job done.
The Chief Executive of NHS England is not the chief executive of the NHS. NHS England is a new creation with daunting challenges and few levers. It presides over an increasingly localised and marketised NHS – indeed is it really a national health service any more? It is in charge of a process called commissioning that is highly fragmented, which no-one fully understands and which has not obviously delivered in its 23 years of operation in the English NHS. And despite being a supposedly arm’s length body it has the Department of Health breathing down its neck. No wonder that health pundit Roy Lilley describes the chief executive role as a “non-job”.
Picture a consultation room. The consultant and his patient - a young man I know with a long term condition - sat across the table from each other. The young man had heard something about care and support planning and was interested in knowing more. With a slightly uncomfortable smile, the consultant agreed that yes, this is exactly how care should work in theory, but implied that, in practice, the NHS is an old dog, and it struggles to learn new tricks.