The New Year has brought fresh opportunities for the Coalition to extend its reach and grow the national movement towards a better deal for people with long-term conditions.
We attended the Long-Term Conditions Conference at the QEII Conference Centre in London on 22nd January 2015 to run a session focusing on the Coalition’s work.
Our stand received a steady stream of visitors from across the health and care professions, all keen to hear more about our vision and to ask questions about the Coalition. Catherine Wilton, Deputy Director of the Coalition for Collaborative Care, also led a workshop attended by almost 90 practitioners, carefully co-designed and co-delivered with four members of our Co-production Group – Evelyn Bitcon, Richard Cross, Neeta Mehta and Fiona Carey.
The workshop explored what it would take to make person-centred, collaborative care a reality across the country and introduced our recently published Care and Support Planning handbook. Co-production Group members also shared personal stories.
Richard shared his experiences of caring for his wife. Neeta talked about becoming an expert in the care of her daughter, despite having a long-term condition herself. As well as having a high profile slot in the main plenary session of the morning, Fiona opened the C4CC session and shared a story about her friend who was unable to avoid a hospital stay for her son as the system was not set up to provide the preventative care he needed. Evelyn talked about challenges she faces as a carer with the current health system when providing support to her son who has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Towards the end of the session, the participants were asked to write pledges – a commitment of what they would do to create the conditions for that to happen.
Strong themes across the pledges included becoming a member of the Coalition for Collaborative Care, working to educate others about the benefits of people-centred care, sharing ideas and best practice with one another and reviewing current policies and plans to remove barriers to good care and support planning.
Catherine Wilton said: “The conference was really encouraging. The conversations we had with health professionals indicated that there is a real appetite for changing how the health service as a whole needs responds to people with living with long-term conditions.
“Having a Co-production Group is an invaluable part of our approach and their experiences help to shape our vision for the future. A number of healthcare professionals in the workshop mentioned how powerful and impactive they found hearing from our Co-production Group members.
“Nearly 60 more people joined the Coalition on the day of the conference which is great news as it continues to extend our reach and create the possibility of achieving our vision for the future.”
To view our Vision document please click here.