• Led by Whittington Health, an NHS integrated care organisation in North London.
  • Improving care of patients with long-term conditions through self-management support.
  • Builds on earlier successful work to introduce self-management approaches as part of the Co-creating Health programme.
  • Project ran until March 2015.

Through involvement in our Co-creating Health programme, Whittington Health has already achieved a major cultural shift, with many patients and professionals now aware of the many possibilities offered by self-management support.

Now, as well as focusing on services for people with diabetes, COPD, asthma and musculo-skeletal pain, the team are working with local GP practices to improve self-management support for people with multiple long-term conditions.

A key element of the trust’s Co-creating Health initiative was a self management programme for people with Type 2 diabetes, leading to significant reductions in HbA1C and LDL cholesterol. Another was communication skills training for a range of health care professionals from Whittington Health and local GP practice teams.

Taking this success forward, the trust are:

  • Embedding service delivery changes to support self-management through commissioning processes.
  • Supporting peer-led patient groups, with benefits going far beyond clinical outcomes, to boost social capital.
  • Drawing on new technology to support self-management – for example, through its new electronic patient record, and including Skype appointments, YouTube videos and interactive web tools, incorporating learning from applications both in the UK and overseas.
  • Investigating effective ways to present success stories of patients and health care professionals to motivate change – they believe the best way to promote self-management support is to demonstrate how these approaches can improve services and change lives.
  • Hosting a Darzi Fellow, focusing entirely on the work to embed self-management support.

Whittington Health is keen to share its learning. It contributes to our online self-management support resource centre and its service self-assessment tool has already been adopted by other trusts.

The trust has also worked with academic staff at University College London to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the approaches.

Further reading

Co-creating Health

Co-creating Health aimed to embed self-management support within mainstream health services across the UK.

Programme