The aim of personalised care to is identify what is most important to each person to enable them to achieve their desired outcomes, and to ensure that the support they receive is designed and co-ordinated around their individual needs. It is sometimes called ‘person-centred’ care.
Several approaches can support personalised care, these include: care planning, personal health budgets and shared decision making.
People with arthritis are part of the wider spectrum of people with long term conditions that can benefit from care planning. However, only 12% of people with musculoskeletal conditions currently have a care plan. Care planning should be made available to people with arthritis who feel they would benefit.
Many people live with the painful and fluctuating symptoms of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions for decades.
Care planning is an approach that people with long term conditions can use to manage their health and wellbeing. It centres on a collaborative conversation between the person with a long term condition and a healthcare professional, and includes the development of goals and actions which are recorded and shared.
Currently, only 12% of people with musculoskeletal conditions currently have a care plan, but many more could benefit. We want to see everyone with arthritis being offered care planning to help them take control of their condition and improve their quality of life.
What needs to happen
- Healthcare commissioners, including NHS England, should ensure that care planning is available to people with musculoskeletal conditions.
- Professional bodies should ensure that healthcare professionals involved in care planning have relevant training, including in musculoskeletal core skills.
- NHS Digital should publish data on the proportion of people with a long-term condition who have a care plan. This data should be available by medical condition (including musculoskeletal conditions) and should be published alongside data on the proportion of people feeling supported to manage their conditions.
The report builds on the outputs of a policy workshop we held in 2013 to consider and help to define the care planning process in relation to musculoskeletal conditions.
Personal health budgets
As the use of personal health budgets is extended across the NHS the needs of people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions must be considered.
Personal health budgets aim to give people with long-term conditions greater choice, flexibility and control over their health services and the support they receive.
A personal health budget is an amount of money which is allocated to support the identified healthcare and wellbeing needs of an individual, which is planned and agreed between the person, or their representative, and the local clinical commissioning group (CCG).
In December 2012, the Department of Health announced the initial roll out of personal health budgets. Subsequently, adults eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare and children in receipt of continuing care had the right to have a personal health budget since October 2014.
The Department of Health also set a wider objective that ‘people who could benefit will have the option to hold their own personal health budget’, and piloted the wider use of personal health budgets in England, including people with some long-term conditions. However, people with arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions were not included in the pilot.
We conducted qualitative and quantitative research with people with musculoskeletal conditions, health professionals and policy makers about personal health budgets.
The report calls for the needs of people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions to be considered as personal health budgets is extended.