People with long-term conditions need a better deal from the health and care system – changing the way that they are supported is long overdue. One in four people – that’s 15 million – are living with long-term conditions. They are the biggest users of NHS services and the largest part of the health services budget is spent on their support. Yet they only spend a few hours per year with health and care professionals, the rest of the time is spent self-managing their condition. We therefore need a major re-design of current approaches. This will require many changes across the health and care system: from the way professionals and people interact in face-to-face consultations, to how professionals are trained and what support people can tap into, including provision for carers and family members.
To speed up progress, we have set up the Coalition because not enough is happening to make person-centred, collaborative care the norm. We know that a major change in our approach is necessary. We know how to make it happen and we have the evidence that it works, but the pace of change is too slow. It has become increasingly clear that the cultural, practice and system changes needed cannot be brought about by people and organisations working on their own. We need to bring together people with the range of experiences; skills and influence to have a major impact on how things work at all levels – practice, system and policy – guided by the experience of people with long-term conditions themselves.
The Coalition is an alliance of a growing number of people and organisations committed to achieving this. These include those wanting to introduce person-centred, collaborative care to their lives and work, as well as those responsible for NHS delivery and development at a national level. There are also major charities and voluntary organisations supporting people with long-term conditions; professional and leadership bodies in health and social care and leading development agencies. Crucially, people with long-term conditions will play a central role in our decision-making and the work we do. Our partners will all make direct contributions and take action to make person-centred care the norm. We want to encourage many more organisations and individuals to join us.