How digital apps are helping to realise personalised care for people and deliver real savings for services

By Richard Pantlin, 26 September 2018

Richard Partlin head and shoulders smiling

My name is Richard Pantlin and I co-ordinate a number of digital initiatives for NHS England’s Personalised Care Group. In addition, I support several STPs/ICSs to implement digital systems (using co-production) for personalised care & support plans and e-marketplaces for care. I led the IT Challenge in 2017 culminating in the report “Harnessing Technology for Personalised Care” and an updated report with more details of IT solutions will be available later this year.

It is well documented that by involving people in decisions about their health and wellbeing, we improve their health and wellbeing, as well as we ensure they make better use of available healthcare resources.

Personalised care is where people have more choice and control over how their health and care needs are met. It recognises that people themselves can sometimes be the best integrators of health and care, and supports them to live as independently as they wish.

The result is better health and well-being outcomes for them, plus more effective and joined-up services.

My work at NHS England looks at how technology apps are helping to shift this focus for people and services, where this personalised care approach is the norm.  We are testing and showcasing how digital programmes can increase patient involvement with their own health, wellbeing and care, with a particular focus on personal health budget and care and support planning.

To start, we have been tapping into the excellent work already in place via existing initiatives, such as the Local Health & Care Exemplars and other empowering people digital programmes such as NHS app, Citizen ID and Person Health Record. In additional we also offer specialist support and knowledge to key ICS/STP areas, such Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire, who are accelerator sites for integrated health mad care plans and budgets with social care which are especially important in the integration front. We are also working with Luton on behalf of the Bedford Luton and Milton Keynes STP to develop a joint social care and CCG specification for an e-marketplace for care services.

We are also looking at ways to stimulate the market for IP solutions that support personalised care and have recently published the Harnessing technology for personalised care - Final report on the national IT Challenge process.This report specifies which IT solutions fulfill the requirements and proposes actions for CCGs and partners to help procure high quality systems to support personalised care.

I recently spoke about this at Innovation Expo 2018 and discussed how local digital projects can support a range of personalised care initiatives, with a particular focus on personal health budgets; personalised care and support planning and social prescribing, as well as about the latest progress and emerging evidence. In my session I drew upon some case study evidence which demonstrates the positive impact that digital and person held care plans are having: In the Midlands at The Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Foundation Trust, the Patient Knows Best personal health care records are enabling patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease to use home testing kits to monitor their symptoms and access twice yearly virtual appointments, which has resulted in a reduction to zero for emergency admissions; equating to over £250k savings per annum.

Another good example is Harrow Council's current My Community ePurse system for people with social care personal budgets. The programme has demonstrated a 7% savings in each of the last four years and supported the development of the local care market with the voluntary sector.

You can access the slides from my Expo session, which was at 9.30am on day one of Expo on HealthTech Theatre 1, via the Expo app.

Do you have any examples that you can share about digital apps or services have helped to enable people to experience personalised care? Please do let me know below!