Personalised care is about finding out ‘what matters to you’. You are the most important part of your own care and we want to support you to be an equal and active partner in your health and wellbeing.

With personalised care, people are more involved in the decision making process and are encouraged to talk about the things and outcomes that matter most to them.

It means that the professionals involved in your care can get a fuller picture of your life, so they can build on your strengths and support you to live as independently as you wish.

This could look like:

  • Practical support to give you more choice and control
  • Building your knowledge, skills and confidence
  • Finding solutions and breaking down goals into manageable steps
  • Creating care and treatment plans with your life at the centre
  • Talking about the things or outcomes that matter most to you.

Elements of Personalised Care

It is ok to ask questions about your own health and care. ‘Shared decision making’ is a term used by the NHS to describe a collaborative process, whereby health and care professionals work with you to reach decisions about your own care and treatment.

Shared decision making supports you to make better, more informed decisions. It also means professionals can give you the best advice and care.

How to get most out of health and care conversations:

  • Remember it is ok to ask questions – prepare these in advance if you need to
  • Speak about what matters to you
  • Ask for clarification or more information if you’re unsure about what has been said
  • Bring a family member or friend
  • Ask your health and care professional to write things down or take notes yourself
  • Share decision making and make choices that are right for you.

A personal health budget is an amount of money allocated by the NHS to support a person’s health and wellbeing needs. This is planned and agreed between the person (or someone who represents them) and the NHS. It is not about creating new money, but it may mean spending money differently.

It allows you to manage your own healthcare and support, such as treatments, equipment and personal care, in a way that suits you.

Those eligible for a personal health budget are:

  • People receiving NHS continuing healthcare (NHS-funded long-term health and personal care outside hospital)
  • People with mental health problems who are eligible for after care services under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act
  • People who meet the eligibility criteria for a personal wheelchair budget.

NHS England video on Personal Health Budgets:

Speak to a member of your health and care team about personal health budgets.

‘Supported self-management’ refers to the different ways that health and care services, including the NHS, can support you to manage your long term physical and mental health conditions.

Supported self-management will look different to everyone, but the intention is to improve your health and wellbeing outcomes by giving you a choice over how your care is planned and delivered.

Those involved in your care will work with you to find out your individual strengths, preferences and needs, as well as taking into account inequalities or accessibility barriers. You can then be offered specific and relevant support.

This could be:

  • Health coaching: helping people gain and use the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to actively participate in their own health and reach their self-identified goals.
  • Self-management education: formal education or training for people with long-term health conditions.
  • Peer support: bringing together peers and people with similar long-term conditions, to share experiences, grow understanding, and aid self-management or recovery.

Speak to a member of your health and care team or ask at your GP surgery about supported self-management.

People often visit their GP because they are feeling stressed about their work, have money worries, are lonely and isolated, or they are grieving as someone close to them has died. All these things have a big impact on our physical health and mental wellbeing. These problems cannot simply be fixed by taking tablets and a medical approach alone.

Social prescribing aims to provide support that looks at you as a whole person, not just your physical or mental health needs. Considering your physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing and finding solutions to the causes of your problems.

A social prescribing link worker is part of your General Practice team. In most cases, your GP or another member of the practice team will refer you to a social prescribing link worker. They support a wide range of people, including teenagers, adults and families, by unpicking issues they may be facing and giving them time to focus on what matters to them.

This often means connecting people to community groups or activities which can provide practical and emotional support, or enable people to take greater control of their health and wellbeing.

Social prescribing can help people who:

  • have one or more long-term condition.
  • need support with their mental health, such as stress, anxiety and low mood.
  • are lonely or isolated.
  • have complex social needs which affect their physical health and wellbeing.
  • visit their GP and hospital very frequently, because they’re not sure who can help them.
  • are not confident to manage their own health and need support.
  • are looking for support, guidance and motivation to make lifestyle changes.

Transformation Partners in Health and Care video on Social Prescribing:

It can be frustrating when you have to repeat your story to different health and care professionals or teams – particularly for patients with long-term health conditions or those with complex needs. A personalised care and support plan can help with this.

It is a record of the things which you feel are important to share with those providing your care. It is a way of summarising what matters to you, such as information on your strengths, values, preferences, or concerns.

The plan moves with you, as you move through services and have contact with different people in the system. It tells your story so you don’t have to.

You may have a number of plans, all with an ‘About Me’ section. This can help you by:

  • Putting you at the centre of your own care
  • Helping health and care professionals get to know you through
    • Providing an up to date record of your changing circumstances or wishes
    • Providing a record of your skills, strengths, experiences and relationships
    • Sharing important information on what matters to you

If you are managing a physical or mental health condition, speak to a member of your health and care team about a personalised care and support plan.