Making individuals active participants in planning and managing their own health and well-being has been identified as key to dealing with challenges relating to long-term health conditions. This necessity of delivering personalised care was made evident during the COVID-19 outbreak
North West London’s (NWL) Health and Care Partnership recently began a programme of work to embed personalised care across the partnership based on the NHS England personalised care operating model. Aiming to do a soft launch with a selection of Primary Care Networks (PCNs), they have recognised the need to transform their culture and approach to health, care and support, shifting the relationship between health and care professionals and people.
Implementing any sort of change, particularly one that involves asking experienced professionals to change how they engage with people, takes time and commitment. It’s not something that can be achieved through training alone. In the context of primary care, there are also specific challenges around the implementation of personalised care – time limitation being a major restriction to “do” personalised care in a 10-minute appointment
So, how do you engage a busy, time-poor, workforce to think differently about how they deliver care? The solution is not easy but involves taking local learning of what works to develop a tailored engagement strategy and creating bespoke opportunities for staff to access the learning and tools applicable to their role.
Developing a tailored engagement strategy
In NWL, we have worked with a number of key stakeholders who have already taken steps to deliver personalised care in their services to understand what it takes to deliver long-term behaviour change around personalised pare.
The experience of NWL’s Maternity, Respiratory, Last Phase of Life and Diabetes services, along with GP leads for Personalised Care, have shown us that to be successful we need to consider the following:
- Making it easy for staff to engage with personalisation – focusing on making small changes that will make a big difference to patients, and creating simple but powerful messages and calls to action.
- Engaging staff through peer-led communication – creating opportunities for staff to share stories and challenges with people from similar professional backgrounds from other practices and networks.
- Making personalisation feel real – providing tangible examples of what a personalised approach might look like in real terms, and connecting the approach back to the communities and people who will benefit.
- Making sure all engagement is timely – considering the rhythm and stress points in each professional’s working life, and considering opportunities to work with particular patient groups to maximise impact, for example working with patients who are shielding.
Bespoke learning opportunities
NWL’s PCN leads recognise that we cannot change behaviours without providing staff with the skills and tools to be able to delivery personalised care effectively. We have developed a learning ‘menu’, covering core content and elective content wrapped round learner journeys. Training and workshops were tailored to specific roles, so that each member of staff accesses only the training content that is applicable to their role. This is to reduce the amount of time staff need to take away from the front-line.
Together with the PCN leads, we have identified a range of delivery methods to better engage with staff, including virtual classrooms, e-learning, and bite-sized modules to make learning accessible, drawing on existing resources developed by NHS-England.
Finally, to support the delivery of this work, we have identified a passionate core group of ambassadors and trainers. This group will include clinical leads, practice based ‘super users’ from a range of professional backgrounds, and a number of patient/user representatives.
Our experience in supporting people to practice new habits highlighted the necessity of learning of what was already done. This means listening and acting upon what the system had practiced previously, but it also means that gaps can be filled by introducing disruptive ways of training.