William Eichler 15 November 2016

Person-centred approach ‘pivotal’ for improving health outcomes

Person and community centred approaches are ‘pivotal’ to improving health and wellbeing outcomes during financially restrained times, new report finds.

Realising the Value, commissioned by NHS England to support delivery of the NHS Five Year Forward View, studied five frontline sites across England and analysed the evidence for person and community centred approaches for health and wellbeing, which entail focusing care around the priorities and motivations of individuals.

It concluded this approach was important and published tools, recommendations and economic modelling to help make a reality of the vision for a ‘new relationship with people and communities’ set out in the Five Year Forward View.

The programme put forward in Realising the Value took a whole system view to increase understanding of how person and community centred approaches add value, and of what works to embed and spread them in practice.

It concluded that in order to make this approach work there needs to be a ‘step change’ in ambition, leadership and commitment from across the system.

‘We are all aware of the urgent need to design a sustainable health and care system,’ said Halima Khan, executive director of Health Lab, Nesta, which contributed to Realising the Value.

‘One of the major ways of achieving this will be through enabling people to live better with health conditions. This programme clearly sets out that the best way to do this is by putting people and communities at the heart of health and wellbeing – so that they feel in control, valued, motivated and supported.

‘This is a powerful and effective way for both individuals and the system to get on the front foot.

Elaborating on the practical content of the study, Ms Khan said: ‘We have created practical tools to help make it happen, including an economic model that can be used directly by commissioners to support investment decisions.

‘And we have developed ten major actions to shift the overall system. What is needed now is sustained and coordinated leadership at local and national levels to embed these innovations into mainstream change and realise the power of people and communities at the heart of health and wellbeing.’

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