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Patients in Control

Patients in Control 

Regional Action West Midlands (RAWM) was formally commissioned by Kent and Medway Commissioning Support Unit now South East Commissioning Support Unit (SECSU) to support delivery of the Patient In Control Programme across Midlands and East. Specifically, RAWMs role was to identify, broker relationships with and support the creation of a West Midlands Early Adopters portfolio.

RAWM in partnership with SECSU through the Patient in Control – Early Adopters Programme sought to develop a diverse portfolio of pilots to capture different approaches to enabling people to manage their long term conditions with timely support and information.

The Early Adopters in the West Midlands fell into 2 categories; CCG led and VCS / partnership led. As a voluntary sector infrastructure organisation RAWM was primarily concerned with the latter group, the pilots schemes were:

  • Walsall Piloting GP diversion and information signposting service for Over 75s in neighbourhood with high deprivation   Walsall CCG and Age UK Walsall 
  • Birmingham Supporting people with a Mental Health diagnosis to move into and remain within the community Midlands Heart Housing Association
  • Coventry Enabling people with a Mental Health & Addiction diagnosis to manage their long term conditions within their homes, families and community settings Claire Frodsham & Associates and Aquarius 
  • Worcester Community Connectors a personalised neighbourhood based support service reducing inappropriate demand on medical services Worcester Community Trust, Worcester CCG and GPs

Collectively these pilots achieved initial outcomes of:

  • Reducing inappropriate visits to GPs by enabling people who were socially isolated access to social environments
  • Co-designing and co-delivering an integrated health and social care package
  • Providing timely information and support on managing long term conditions to individuals, groups and communities
  • Utilising and capitalising local voluntary sector provision through partnership and integration of structures and services
  • Reducing re-admissions to hospitals by building localized support structures
  • Exploring the implications of small scale commissions and sustaining local voluntary sector organisations

Longer term outcomes have yet to be derived but it is hoped with RAWMs continued engagement and support that the pilots will continue to receive funding and continue the pioneering work commenced.

Key Learning

  • Funding and delivery partners were willing to co-design and co-develop the service with retort to complex commissioning protocols. This highlighted considerable trust and willingness to take risks to deliver the pilot
  • Services were led by voluntary organisations working within and to their primary aim and objective and, were locally well known for services of this nature 
  • Individuals with long term conditions were not only consulted but played a substantive and significant role in determining the shape and content of the service
  • Volunteering and volunteers compliment service delivery and is a positive outcome for some service users. However, volunteers and volunteering is not a free gift which commisisoners can factor into commissions or organisations can utilise to save money or show low operating costs. Volunteering like any function of an organisation must be valued, resourced and held to quality standards.
  • More work needs to be undertaken to capture and articulate value for money – what this means for individuals, organisations and the wider community