Personalised care is everyone’s business

Nick Livadas and Hal Brace reflect upon the paradigm shift that has seen personalised care embedded within an NHS community musculoskeletal service

Nick Livadas is clinical lead and Hal Brace is the operations manager for the NHS community musculoskeletal service in South Tyneside provided by Connect Health

Personalised care means that people have choice and control over the way their care is planned and delivered. Identified as a key policy change in the NHS Long Term Plan, it is an approach to care that is relevant to all physiotherapists. In South Tyneside the clinical commissioners have made personalised care across all care providers a key priority and the recent contract renewal was an opportunity to co-produce some new quality metrics in collaboration with the local community. 

Shared decision making (SDM) is a core component of personalised care. The team audit clinical records to assess for the documentation of shared decisions and have invested time in seeking patients’ perceptions of shared decisions using validated tools. The ‘Ask 3 Questions’ posters are displayed in consulting rooms and clinical supervision is focussed on supporting the team to make shared decisions the default. To develop SDM skills the team have completed the free Personalised Care Institute (PCI) e-modules. 

As physiotherapists we’re in the business of behaviour change. Patients are at differing stages of readiness for lifestyle changes and adopting self care. To help the clinical team identify which individuals are more activated, patients are sent a link prior to their assessment with the ‘Patient Activation Measure’ (PAM) questionnaire. These 13 questions lead to a PAM score which helps the clinician identify the level of support they may require, personalising the approach. 

Shared decision making (SDM) is a core component of personalised care.

Another essential element of personalised care is identifying what matters to the patient and acknowledging that sometimes, physiotherapists may not be best placed to offer that support. As a team we have mapped out the local health and wellbeing services that are commissioned or available through charities and the voluntary sector. We can then seamlessly signpost our patients to these services which may be alongside their physiotherapy care. To develop your own personalised care skills, view the PCI online resources. 

Find out more here from the Personalised Care Institute website.

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