Evidence shows better outcomes when patients and carers are involved in decisions about their own conditions, and technology enables fewer and more streamlined visits to hospital.
And across the country, there is a growing emphasis on supporting people to look after their own health and wellbeing.
Success will require changes to the way that care is provided; organisations and cultures; and the choices and behaviours of people using these services – and this requires the large-scale involvement of local people and front-line staff.
For example, supporting clinicians to work in multi-disciplinary teams across the traditional fault-lines of primary care and hospital, NHS and local government social care, and physical and mental health.
In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, we worked with clinicians and leaders across ten organisations to communicate a powerful vision for health and care for around 1M people.
In South East London, and also Sussex and East Surrey, we undertook a detailed review of the engagement with diverse communities and seldom-heard groups across the catchment, and showed how to work with ‘under the radar’ groups and networks to ensure inclusion of those who need the NHS the most.
Our engagement events in six south east London boroughs provided an opportunity for local people to discuss plans for individual services with the clinicians and managers designing new models – and to question leaders from across the partnership on the future of health services for more than 1.5M people in diverse local communities.
Around 500 local people took part in challenging – but positive – debates on the future of their local NHS services, and we helped local clinicians and leaders to get across complex messages and demonstrate a strong partnership of local health and care organisations.
We are currently working within the Frimley Healthcare footprint to pilot an innovative local approach to helping people to make the right urgent care choices to reduce pressure on busy A&E departments, and explore how further work can be done in GP surgeries more widely.
At a London level, we are working with partnership communications directors to engage with partners in London government and have developed a consultation website using the London health and care portal Myhealthlondon to enable people to participate on a large-scale in decisions about their care.