University researchers publish new report evaluating efforts to improve person-centred care

An independent evaluation report led by researchers from our University has been published, based on work funded by the Health Foundation and NHS England

The report sets out the findings from a qualitative evaluation of the feasibility of using a tool called the Patient Activation Measure in the NHS in England. The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a validated tool which seeks to capture the knowledge, skills and confidence people have to manage their health and healthcare.

Patient activation is a relatively new concept within the UK but it is rapidly gaining traction; NHS England has positioned the concept of patient activation and the PAM as central to its work supporting self-management and selfcare. Using the PAM could help care professionals assess and build their patients’ knowledge, skills and confidence, empowering people to make decisions about their own health and care.

A team of Leicester researchers, led by Professor Natalie Armstrong of the SAPPHIRE group in the Department of Health Sciences, was commissioned to work alongside a ‘learning set’ of five Clinical Commissioning Groups and one disease registry as they experimented with using the PAM in different ways and at different levels of scale, across a range of approaches for improving care and supporting self-management.

Following on from an interim report published in 2016, the final independent evaluation report looks at the experience of the six pilot sites and provides practical lessons and considerations for those who wish to use the PAM in their local areas.

Commenting on the value of this work, Dr Sam Bennett, Deputy Director, Personalised Care Group at NHS England said: "It is important to focus on people having the knowledge, skills and confidence to self-manage their health. Understanding and responding appropriately to people's individual levels of "activation" is an important aspect of delivering personalised care in the NHS. This independent evaluation of the PAM learning set focuses on the practical lessons that can be drawn and key points to consider for those wanting to use the PAM. NHS England has drawn heavily on this learning in the production of our first PAM implementation guide (to be published shortly), designed to support organisations with their local measurement of patient activation to personalise care and improve care for people with long term conditions."

Will Warburton, Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation, commented: "We are pleased to have been able to support this work, which makes a valuable contribution to understanding the potential benefits of using the patient activation measure to improve person-centred care and support for self-management."