Events focus: the activities and progress in Demonstrator and WSDAN sites

Mike Clark and Nick Goodwin

The second major WSDAN event in a series of eight was held in Birmingham on 12 March 2009. A set of presentation slides is now available.

Demonstrators update

Tim Ellis (Department of Health WSD Programme Manager) provided the background to the Whole System Demonstrator sites, examined the implementation process and outlined challenges that the three sites are facing in recruiting up to 6,000 people into the randomised controlled trial. Tim reviewed the similarities and differences between the approach in the three Demonstrator sites with that in others, including the 12 WSDAN sites.

Care planning and self-care for long-term conditions

Tracy Morton (Long Term Conditions Team, Department of Health) outlined the Department of Health’s vision for the future of long-term conditions management. This included a restatement of the key objective of offering a personalised and integrated care plan for every individual with a long-term condition by 2010 (15.4 million people) and an introduction to Your Health, Your Way – a guide to long-term conditions and self-care that was launched on the 2  November 2008 on the NHS Choices website.

Tracy also reminded the audience of the importance of commissioning personalised care planning, noting the recent Department of Health publication of a 2009 guide for commissioners. Other upcoming initiatives sought to build awareness among people with long-term conditions of the value of self-care through the use of video, leaflets and possibly useful inserts when receiving new medication.

Birmingham OwnHealth

WSDAN site member Richard Mendelsohn provided an update on the OwnHealth programme initiated at Birmingham East and North (BEN) PCT nearly three years ago which has recruited more than 2,000 people. This proactive telephone-based care management programme supports self-care and lifestyle changes for members while potentially improving organisational performance and effectiveness in managing a range of long-term conditions within the local population. The conditions covered now include COPD as well as diabetes, heart disease and heart failure.

The role of Medilink West Midlands and the development of the iHouse

Rob Chesters from Medilink West Midlands provided the background to the setting up of the iHealth project and the iHouse. Accompanied by a short video, the presentation explored a range of assistive technologies including telecare and telehealth that had been set up within a house in West Bromwich. This home setting could be used to get the views of a wide range of stakeholders on future developments for assistive technology as well as to provide information about what was available.