University researchers contribute to new announcement aiming to improve person-centred care

NHS England has today announced a deal seeking to improve access to more person-centred care as part of its developing Self Care programme.

Local NHS organisations and their partners are being invited to apply for free access to patient activation licences, with the aim of helping them assess and build their patients’ knowledge, skills and confidence, empowering people to make decisions about their own health and care.

The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a validated tool which captures the extent to which people feel engaged and confident in taking care of their health and wellbeing.

By measuring people's activation levels through PAM, organisations can ‘meet people where they are’ and tailor support and services to the individual’s needs.

Locally, it is hoped that measuring and improving patient activation will lead to patients enjoying better experiences of care and outcomes, making more positive choices about their health and wellbeing, and experiencing fewer unplanned hospital admissions.

Building on pilot work in six areas, NHS England has now agreed a five-year licence to expand the use of the PAM tool with up to 1.8 million people, as a core component of the Self-Care programme.

An independent interim evaluation report by the University of Leicester, led by Dr Natalie Armstrong, Senior Lecturer in the SAPPHIRE research group in the Department of Health Sciences, looking at the experience of the six pilot sites has been published by NHS England alongside the announcement. The qualitative study provides practical lessons and considerations for those who wish to use the PAM in their local areas.