Julie Fenner, Petrea Fagan, Anya De Iongh and Lisa Kidd
For people with long term conditions, living with their symptoms and adjusting the way they live with them is part of everyday life. Appointments with health professionals represent only a small proportion of their time and the rest of the time they are ‘going it alone’. But how realistic is it to expect people to play an active role in managing their own health and to make difficult lifestyle changes without support?
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, was recently described by the Guardian as ‘trickier to pin down than his predecessors’. Last week Mr Stevens met with National Voices members to discuss the future of the NHS and the role of voluntary organisations in health and care. So did we manage to ‘pin him down’?
Sam Bennett, Head of Integrated Personal Commissioning and Personal Health Budgets has written this blog which highlights the importance of personal health budgets in improving wellbeing outcomes and making choice and control a reality for people. This blog also outlines the need to see people as active participants in their care, not as passive recipients of services.
Earlier this year we launched the review Peer Support: What Is It and Does It Work?with Nesta, which found evidence that peer support can help people feel more knowledgeable, confident and happy, and less isolated and alone. Following up from this, we’ve been publishing a series of peer support case studies highlighting some of the ways in which charities are facilitating peer support, and the benefits peer support can offer for people living with long term health needs.
At the end of the month, the Chancellor will set out spending limits for the rest of the Parliament, and it’s unlikely to say the least that there will be any big giveaways for public services. This sets a challenge for the National Voices annual conference later this week, which will discuss the future for person centred care, and ask whether it could be the solution in hard times?