Wakefield launches health and wellbeing self care tool

NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), alongside a range of local health, social, voluntary and community sector organisations, has launched a new self care tool to help people to better manage and understand their own health and wellbeing needs.

Self care includes all the things people do independently to recognise, treat and manage their health. This includes things like:

  • Treating minor ailments such as coughs, colds and tummy upsets
  • Managing a long term health condition
  • Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet
  • Getting enough exercise
  • Stopping smoking
  • Knowing where to find information or local support that can help
  • Taking steps to improve mental wellbeing.

As part of Wakefield’s self care strategy, the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) tool involves patients filling out an assessment both before and after they take part in a self care programme, to help measure people’s level of knowledge, skills and confidence in managing their own conditions.

Wakefield CCG has been awarded 2,000 licenses from NHS England, over a three-year period, to use the tool to help tailor local programmes and provide insight on behalf of the patient, to the type of support that will offer the most benefit.

Operating within the Connecting Care programme, the tool is currently being utilised with patients that have long-term health conditions, and is currently accessible through the Live Well Wakefield Service, alongside WDH’s Wellbeing Team. Four Wakefield GP practices are also using the PAM tool as part of their care planning processes.

Sarah Kinsey, Practice Nurse at New Southgate Surgery, said: “The PAM tool can be a useful tool in helping patients to assess their confidence in managing their long term conditions.

“I have started using it in some consultations to identify areas where patients may need further support to develop their self care skills.’

John Nye, a Wakefield patient and Health Champion at Friarwood Surgery, said: “Self care is taking responsibility for your own body and any long term conditions that you have, without being solely dependent on local health and social care services.

“Self care has changed my life and through innovative projects such as the PAM tool, this will hopefully change the lives of many other local people also.”

Pritti Mehta, New Care Models lead for self care, NHS England, said: “Connecting Care is one of the leaders, driving programmes of self care that are making a difference to the quality of life of people in their community.

“It’s this passion, energy and commitment that is helping us, nationally, through the New Care Models programme, to build the skills, confidence and knowledge of 25,000 people to take greater control of their health and wellbeing through tailored health coaching or self-management education.

“Four in 10 people with long-term conditions don’t feel they have the ability to manage their own health and care – that has to change.”

Since the PAM tool launched in August 2017, over 60 patients have taken part in assessments. Findings have shown that the greatest completion rate is from those individuals who are measured as “Level One” on the PAM tool, these are those who are more typically disengaged with managing and understanding their own health and wellbeing needs. 70% of these Level One individuals increased their score, and improved their level on the PAM tool following their participation in a self care programme.

Wakefield CCG also wants to understand how self-care can improve people’s health and wellbeing, alongside what support should be provided to help local people look after themselves. A short questionnaire is available to be filled in here.

The survey will close on 8th December.

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