Health care professionals and patients come together to tackle the challenges faced by the NHS in a series of films launched this week by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity. The Power of People series depicts five innovative projects that have been supported by the Health Foundation to improve care.

The films have been created by the award-winning production company Lightbox and show the tremendous, positive impact that good health care can have on people’s lives.

Over the next five weeks, one film will be launched each week on the Health Foundation’s website. The first in the series of mini-documentaries is Pills: reviewing medication in care homes, which goes live today.

Will Warburton, Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation said: 'These films show what can be achieved when people are given the time and resources to transform and improve patient care. The Health Foundation helped to get these projects off the ground, and we’re proud of what they’ve achieved.

'There is a lot of excellent work being done in the NHS and beyond, and it’s important to celebrate that. We hope these films will be shared widely and inspire others to recognise the power in themselves to generate change. The demands on the NHS are growing – the ideas of the people working in the health service will be essential in meeting this challenge.'

Journalists who want advance access to the films that are not yet available should contact the Health Foundation media team on 020 7257 8027.

The films show a range of health and social care professionals working with patients and their families to improve the quality of care. Specifically:

  • Pills: reviewing medication in care homes shares the story of how the lives of older people living in a care home were improved when they and their families became more involved in decisions about their medication, together with a pharmacist and GP. The amount of medicines prescribed to residents at the north Tyneside home reduced by 17% as a result of the review, saving money and improving lives, for example by reducing some residents’ drowsiness. The review was led by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Film launch: Friday, 30 October.
  • Flo: telecare with a human touch is about a project that enables people to better manage their health and wellbeing, for example, by sending regular text messages to people with diabetes reminding them to measure their blood sugar level so their condition can be better managed in partnership with health care staff. Flo was first introduced by a team from NHS Stoke-on-Trent and a new social enterprise, nhssimple, has been set up to take this work forward. Film launch: Friday, 6 November.
  • Bottoms Up: everyone can influence safety, quality and experience showcases a range of different projects led by health professionals at Ulster Hospital in Belfast which enabled them to make improvements in patient care. For example, the introduction by two consultants of a kidney care checklist has increased recognition of kidney failure on the wards from 30% to 100%. Film launch: Friday, 13 November.
  • Recovery College: from mental health patient to recovery student shows how the lives of people with serious mental illness can be turned around when they gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their condition. Of those who have attended the college, 94% said they felt more hopeful about the future. The scheme is run by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, which works in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. Film launch: Friday, 20 November.
  • Gold Line: bringing healthcare home is a moving account of a 24/7 telephone service for people in their last year of life and highlights the experiences and depth of personal courage shown by people and their families who use the service. The Gold Line is run by nurses who coordinate care and support people and their families across Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven and Bradford. As a result of the service, a significantly higher proportion of people have been able to die in the place of their choosing (usually at home). Film launch: Friday, 27 November.

Media contact 

Creina Lilburne Media and Public Affairs Consultant

T: 020 7257 8027 E: creina.lilburne@health.org.uk

To join the conversation on Twitter, use #THFpowerofpeople.

Notes to editors

  • The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. Over the past 15 years we have funded a range of projects in the NHS to improve the way health care is delivered and make care better for patients and service users.
  • The link for the first film in the series, Pills: reviewing medication in care homes, is available here: http://www.health.org.uk/pills
  • Lightbox, based in London and Los Angeles, produces high quality non-fiction programs for the small screen and was founded by Academy Award and Emmy winning producers Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. Simon has produced two Academy Award-winning documentaries, Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man. Jonathan received an Emmy for American High (Fox/PBS) and the Television Academy’s Honors Award for 30 Days. 

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