The new year started with a clear warning about the impact on the NHS of rising numbers of people living with long-term conditions: the costs of delivering current models of care are increasingly recognised as being unsustainable and acceptance of the need for change is growing. To my mind, however, viewing the problems of current models of care as simply about affordability misses a more important point.
Over the past six years we have been developing our understanding of self management, why it is important for people living with long term conditions and what it means to clinicians. Most importantly we are building our understanding of how these skills are relevant to patients who are living with the daily turmoil of chronic illness. We were fortunate enough to be included in the Health Foundation's latest SHINE programme.
I'm a little confused about the current discourse around person-centred care. I agree it seems inappropriate to call people ‘patients’ – some feel it objectifies people as dependent, helpless, passive and devoid of their personhood; a relic of the old days of medical paternalism. It no longer reflects today's reality where people are capable of sharing decisions and being the active agent in their healthcare.