Fylde coast residents with long-term conditions will be supported to better manage their own health and care needs thanks to a new tool at the disposal of local healthcare professionals.
Healthcare professionals on the Fylde coast are among some of the first in the country to benefit from the roll-out of the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) by NHS England.
The PAM gauges the knowledge, skills and confidence of people to manage their own health and healthcare. On the Fylde coast, professionals within the extensive care service will utilise the tool to ensure the support they provide to patients is specifically tailored to individual’s needs.
Extensive care makes sure people over 60, with two or more long-term conditions, receive more coordinated support to manage their conditions in order to dramatically reduce the need for unplanned hospital visits. A big part of this is the development of an agreed care plan with patients and carers. This care plan includes steps to increase a patients understanding of their conditions and how to manage these, as well as setting a number of small goals geared towards improving their wellbeing.
The tool will help the service staff be more aware of a patient’s ability and willingness to manage their health and wellbeing from the outset. This will ensure that patients who could be easily overwhelmed are not overloaded with information.
For example, many patients can often be left confused with the amount of medication they need to take, especially when changes are made to this. The tool will help staff to put measures in place to make sure these patients fully understand information, are aware of the reasoning for decisions and are supported accordingly to manage their health.
Overall, the tool will lead to patients having better experiences of care and outcomes, making more positive choices about their health and wellbeing, and result in fewer unplanned hospital admissions.
Dr Andrew Weatherburn, clinical lead for the extensive care service, said: “We’re really pleased to be one of the first areas to benefit from this tool. It will help us to improve the experiences of our patients by making sure that the support we provide takes into account their own individual needs.
“We know when patients feel confident and involved in the control of their healthcare that this leads to better outcomes.
“The other useful benefit to using the PAM tool is that it can also free up a clinician’s time. I know from experience, that although it is the right thing to do, we often spend a large amount of time giving people advice which is actually too complicated for them. Expecting patients to take all of this on board and then apply it is a big ask, particularly if patients do not necessarily understand their condition in the first place.
“So the PAM tool will help us to gauge exactly what patients can and can’t grasp and work with them to really improve their understanding and confidence to manage their conditions.”
You can find out more about the PAM tool at: www.england.nhs.uk/pam.