How community-based care is putting patients in control
Transforming Healthcare A shift from hospital-based healthcare to community-based healthcare is a way to empower patients by giving them more control — and treating them in the location that suits them best.
The health and care system is changing:
The health and care system is changing. Gradually, the focus is shifting away from hospital-based care and onto community-based care. This means increased home healthcare visits from GPs and nurses, but also therapists, social care services and pastoral care services where necessary. The idea? To take a more rounded view of healthcare, empower the patient, put their requirements first and break down barriers between NHS users and healthcare professionals.
"...benefit individuals by giving them more control over the way they receive healthcare."
This new way of delivering healthcare recognises that everyone, at some time in their lives, will be a patient, and deserves — and needs — the healthcare that is right for them. It's also designed to benefit individuals by giving them more control over the way they receive healthcare. By being more proactive, everyone can be treated in the location that suits them best, whether they require chemotherapy or physiotherapy. It's a win-win situation. The system wins because the pressure on it is relieved. The patient wins because they have a more flexible healthcare experience.
Individualised care means patients feel more in control:
This emphasis on community-based care has been recommended by the Industry Coalition Group (ICG), which represents organisations across the health sector. The first step in its implementation is for health professionals to fundamentally reassess the way they view patients. “We need to see people in the wider context of their families and communities and recognise them as individuals with their own needs and aspirations,” says Mike Bell, Chairman of Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Chair of the ICG.
The ICG also sees the value of a people-centred care system which gives individuals more say in the way their own healthcare is delivered. “When people go into a hospital or healthcare setting, they tend to quickly become a passive recipient of care,” says Jane Milligan, ICG member and Chief Officer, NHS Tower Hamlets CCG. “That's because there's an entrenched idea that 'the doctor knows best'. We have to make it easier for people to navigate the system more effectively so that they can access better information and support and feel more in control of what is happening to them.” Technology can be a game changer in this regard, giving people access to their own records and results. Better education would also help individuals take more responsibility for managing their own health.
A redesigned health and care system wouldn't only benefit patients insists Natalie Douglas, ICG member and CEO of Healthcare at Home: it could also have a dramatic effect on NHS staff. “That's because delivering community-based care — such as administering complex drugs or monitoring those with more specialised conditions — can be a more satisfying and flexible experience for healthcare professionals,” she says. “Naturally, not every person can be cared for in the community, and some nurses might prefer the cut-and-thrust pressure of a hospital ward. Yet if there was more of a focus on supported clinical homecare it would take some of the stress out of the system.”
The report brings together a mix of current examples which were instigated in the Five-Year Forward View and new ideas which will collectively form this new principal care system, says Milligan. “But, of course, there is immense financial effect on the health system — and when money is tight it makes it harder to keep transformation on track. The aim of the ICG is to keep the conversation going.”
Healthcare at Home is proud to be a member of the Industry Coalition Group. As the UK’s leading full service, clinical provider of healthcare out-of-hospital, we partner with publicly funded, pharmaceutical and private providers to deliver services for patients that are essential for sustainable healthcare.
Read the full report here: insights.hah.co.uk/2000days