Personalised care gives people choice and control over the way their care is planned and delivered. It is based on ‘what matters’ to them and their individual strengths and needs.
This happens within a system that makes the most of the expertise, capacity and potential of people, families and communities in delivering better outcomes and experiences. Acknowledging people as experts in their own lives, health and care not only adds value to people’s lives and experiences, it creates value for the taxpayer and better integrates the system around the person.
Personalised care represents a new relationship between people, professionals and the health and care system. It provides a positive shift in power and decision making that enables people to have a voice, to be heard and be connected to each other and their communities.
This approach learns from the experience of social care in embedding personalised care in everyday practice, which has enabled people to take control over the funding for their care.
Critically, personalised care takes a whole-system approach by integrating services around the person, including health, social care, public health and wider community services. It provides an all-age approach from maternity and childhood right through to end of life, encompassing both mental and physical health and recognises the role and voice of carers. It recognises the contribution of communities and the voluntary and community sector to support people and build resilience.
Personalised care improves people’s health and wellbeing, joins up local communities, reduces pressure on clinical services and helps the health and care system to be more efficient.
How we’re making a difference
What are we doing?
Social prescribing and community based support
Social prescribing is a way for local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.
Link workers also support existing community groups to be accessible and sustainable, and help people to start new groups, working collaboratively with all local partners. Social prescribing can allow people to easily be referred to link workers from a wide range of local agencies, including general practice, pharmacies, multi-disciplinary teams, hospital discharge teams, allied health professionals, fire service, police, job centres, social care services, housing associations and voluntary and community organisations. Self-referral is also encouraged.
Social prescribing works for a wide range of people, including people:
- with one or more long-term conditions
- who need support with their mental health
- who are lonely or isolated
- who have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.
Social prescribing complements other approaches, such as active signposting. This is a ‘light touch’ approach where existing staff in local agencies provide information to signpost people to services, using local knowledge and resource directories. Active signposting works best for people who are confident and skilled enough to find their own way to services after a brief intervention.
Personal health budgets
A personal health budget is an amount of money to support someone’s health and wellbeing needs, which is planned and agreed between the individual or their representative, and the local NHS. It isn’t new money, but a different way of spending health funding to meet the needs of an individual. Personal health budgets are a way of personalising care, based around what matters to people and their individual strengths and needs.
They give disabled people and people with long term conditions more choice, control and flexibility over their healthcare. Find out more about personal health budgets including who can apply for one on the NHS South West London website.
Taking part in national pilot schemes
Significant progress has been made towards the implementation of personalised care in South West London. South West London wide programmes such as diabetes, maternity and end of life care have participated in national pilots for choice and personalisation developing innovation tools such as our My Maternity Journey leaflet and a 3-minute animated sub-titled motion video and diabetes “You & Type 2” service that combines innovative digital technologies with improved support from our healthcare professionals. The service provides each person with their own easily accessible personalised plan of care, as well as education and support to encourage effective self-management.
Toolkits for people with long term conditions
We have developed a series of toolkits and resources to help people manage their long term conditions and to help find the support they need, when they need it. These toolkits and resources have been developed or identified and checked by teams of clinical specialists from South West London including GPs, consultants, dietitians and physiotherapists.
- Cardiovascular Disease Toolkit
- Diabetes Toolkit
- Musculoskeletal Toolkit
- Respiratory Toolkit
- Prevention Decathlon
- Information in other languages
If you would like to get involved in our personalised care work email us at [email protected]
Find out more about how you can get involved in our work on the Get Involved pages.