Introducing a novel approach delivered by wounded injured and sick veterans from Active Plus, with medicines education and individual patient focused reviews from Care Right Now and dynamic learning on conscious Self-Care.
A new way of supporting individuals living with long term health conditions – 6 week course
Verbatim quotes from course participants:
“…The trainers were genuine people who listened and who we can trust. They didn’t have a list of things to get through with us [they] concentrated on what we asked and listened. Once the word gets around everyone will want this.”
“Found the course really helpful…you need to think about what you’re going to say to the GP before you get there and make that time count…so I can get my point across.”
“We all have different illnesses but we experience the same things and need to talk about it.”
Tackling complex issues such as chronic health conditions involves multiple sectors and organisations. To make a positive difference in these areas, new ways of thinking, designing and delivering services are becoming increasingly necessary.
Care Right Now came together with partner Community Interest Companies (CICs), Active Plus (wounded, injures and sick military veterans facilitating change) and Menopause Self Care.
Due to budget, time and organisational constraints, existing health and care services are limited in how they help people manage multiple long-term health conditions.
Exacerbated by a lack of whole systems approach, cycles of deprivation – including poor mental health, unstable employment or unemployment and social isolation – are often replicated with little prospect of improvement.
There is a need to connect at an early stage with these often hard-to-reach individuals. Providing them with the knowledge and confidence to make better, more informed choices, take greater responsibility for their health and so improve their general wellbeing.
Working in partnership, Active Plus, Care Right Now and Menopause Self Care put their complementary skills, experience and approaches together to create and deliver a truly innovative programme. The focus was on empowering participants through improving their knowledge and decision-making skills, in a safe environment, where they feel understood.
Each course is delivered locally by people living with chronic health conditions, supported by clinicians. Allowing for a combination of group and individual sessions, the courses are not rigidly predetermined but designed to adapt to meet the different requirements of each cohort.
The Active Plus veteran volunteers, as non-medical, non-official individuals who had themselves overcome significant challenges, enable the effective delivery of each course.
Participants relate to the veterans’ experiences as “people like us.” This helped motivate them to identify opportunities for positive change in their own lives and also built trust and mutual respect within the groups, allowing for greater honesty. Real problems come to the fore and can be addressed in the expert sessions on ‘Getting Energy’ (promoting concepts of conscious self-care and self-trust) and ‘My Medicines’ (training by an experienced nurse or pharmacist to increase understanding of medicines and treatment).
Successful delivery of the four pilot projects for the DWP met with much positive feedback from participants, their GPs and clinicians, as well as significant interest from GP Groups and Health Communities. By addressing individual yet shared needs in a user-focused way, the programme gave participants back a vital sense of themselves. The feeling that they were no longer defined solely by their condition has wide-reaching benefits.
These include being better equipped to manage their conditions and understand their capabilities, being able to take greater responsibility for their wellbeing (as evidenced by Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale scores) and feeling empowered to play a more active role in the clinician/patient relationship.
GPs reported that consultations with patients who had attended the course have become more meaningful. Individuals attend better prepared, have a deeper understanding of, and adherence to, medicines (particularly across different conditions) and can engage in an informed dialogue on, for example, side effects.
Tangible savings in terms of cost and time extend across all healthcare and social service providers. Hard-pressed clinical teams that may have struggled to recognise the full impact and interaction of multiple long term conditions and their treatments, benefit from the facility for improved communication. This in turn contributes to making their patients’ care safer. Reports spoke of fewer return visits, GP home visits, a potential reduction in A&E Attendances and hospital admissions, and a reduction in demand for unnecessary tests and medication.
Our delivery partners:
Care Right Now, Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre, Truro, TR1 3FF
T: 01872 248 327 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.carerightnow.co.uk