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Personalised care: moving from the margins to the mainstream

Anna Severwright

C4CC’s co-chair, Anna Severwright blogs about the launch of the action plan for Universal Personalised Care.

I recently took part in a panel discussion along with my co-chair Nigel Mathers, responding to the question of ‘what will success look like for personalised care in the next two years?’

Held at the Royal College of General Practitioners earlier this month, the event was a pre-briefing ahead of today’s launch of the action plan for Universal Personalised Care.

I think it’s fair to say that the consensus from all panellists was that in two years’ time it will be too early to see the full effects of what is an ambitious action plan and such a significant change in the way that most people – and their carers – currently experience our health care system.

The changes set out in the plan launched today will take time and it will be a long journey.  Much has been achieved already but this has been for the minority. This plan gives us a real opportunity to move personalised care from the margins to the mainstream and move from benefiting thousands of people – to millions of people.

As someone with multiple long-term conditions, my healthcare experiences have ranged from the very impersonal – only being asked about my clinical symptoms – to a completely different conversation that covers my whole life and what’s important to me.  When I have this different type of conversation the impact is huge, not just on my health, but on my general wellbeing and on my ability to be able to live the kind of life that I want to.

But it’s not just about the content of the conversation and the questions asked, it’s about the nature of the conversation and it being a genuine partnership between healthcare professionals and people and their carers. There needs to be the recognition that people are experts in their own lives and conditions. So much more can be achieved and a bigger difference made to people’s lives if we use both the patients’ and professionals’ respective knowledge to jointly create their care and support plan.

For personalised care to really take root however, it’s essential that services and approaches are co-produced with people, communities and the workforce. Only then will we see the kind of culture shift and level of transformation required.

The action plan for Universal Personalised Care represents a tipping point for us all.  I am incredibly proud to be co-chair of C4CC and to have the privilege of working with our network of partners who are all committed to supporting these plans and making personalised care happen at scale. So maybe it’s true that two years will be too early to see full success, but I look forward to seeing the progress being made towards personalised care moving from the margins to the mainstream.