Successfully enabling self-care in NHS Self Care Week

A promotional image for NHS self care week featuring a group of people of all ages, abilities and races, above a banner reading 'Self Care Week: 14-20 November 2016;. www.nhs.uk/selfcare

In this guest post, Pearl Roberts, Agilisys Care Lead & Client Development Director, explains how NHS Self Care Week is raising awareness of self-care and providing opportunities to promote it across our communities.

This year’s NHS Self Care Week takes place from 14th to 20th November. The event is run by the Self Care Forum and aims to help people become more knowledgeable about health and lifestyle options that will impact positively on their physical and mental wellbeing.

Most of us will, at some level, be involved in care and support for family and friends—and if we are not already, the likelihood that we will in the future is high. More of us are living longer (one in five of us will live to be 100) and our care needs are lasting longer and are more complex (two thirds of people reaching pensionable age have two chronic conditions).

Indeed, public finances, local government funding and health and social care funding are the subject of daily reports referencing the ‘care conundrum’ and ‘social care shortfall’.  It is clear that adult social care is at a ‘tipping point’ and addressing these challenges requires a fundamental paradigm shift in the way that services are delivered.

NHS Self Care Week provides a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and highlight real, practical options to encourage and embed support for self-care across our communities.  At Agilisys Care we have been working with local authorities to combine our knowledge of health and social care with technology expertise to enable citizens to help themselves safely within their communities and to assist councils in managing the demand on their services.

For most people, their first interaction and engagement with care services comes at a time of need or crisis. Decisions often need to be made under pressure with limited information about what types of support might be appropriate, what providers are available, how to go about putting that support in place and how the costs and charges for care work.

When faced with a case of ‘I don’t know what I don’t know’, people often struggle to get the information and advice they need to make good decisions.

Agilisys Care is providing people with the means to access and navigate the fragmented and complex health and social care systems in intuitive and simple-to-use ways, which is helping to change the ‘culture of care’, supporting and encouraging people to look after themselves, to be more resilient and to live more independently within their communities.

Our Information & Advice portals are helping people to navigate the seemingly vast resources available, and signposting them to expert advice to help them make the right decisions about their care needs. This will include connecting people with national and local resources and referrals to local support groups.  We are taking this further by partnering with Health Unlocked, the largest peer-to-peer social network dedicated to health where citizens can support each other across a wide range of health and wellbeing issues and long term conditions.

Providing high-quality information and advice is essential in promoting better outcomes for health and wellbeing.  It helps to save money by supporting people to put the right care arrangements in place and avoid multiple contacts with local authorities. It is also changing the way that long-term conditions are managed, by involving people in improving their own health and wellbeing outcomes and reducing demand on the health and care system.

Find out more about how Agilisys Care can transform the delivery of care services.

Pearl Roberts is responsible for Agilisys Care. She is leading on combining innovation and talent across Agilisys and partners to create a digital social care experience that offers citizens greater choice and control, enables local authority clients to work across traditional boundaries, and helps to deliver greater efficiencies and reduce costs.

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