• 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.

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