Self-management could help ease the high demand on GPs

To help ease the high demand on GPs across south London, self-management is a priority in the NHS 10-Year Plan and focuses on key areas like diabetes prevention and management, cardiovascular, asthma and respiratory conditions, maternity and parenting support and online therapies for common mental health conditions.

Individuals need support to build the skills and confidence necessary for effective self-management of longstanding conditions, and health professionals need to be aware of and trained on the available supportive tools, taking account of any inequalities and accessibility barriers their patients may face.

Research presented by Self Management UK[1] shows that, on average, people living with a heath condition spend just three hours per year with their healthcare team—the rest of their time is spent self-managing these conditions. NHS organisations need to work closely with local authorities and other partners to provide the support and guidance to help south Londoners self-manage properly.

There are many interventions available to help support the self-management of common conditions, some of which are:

  • education for specific health conditions;
  • peer-led courses;
  • online self-management tools;
  • telephone support and telehealth; and
  • self-monitoring of medication and symptoms using digital technology.

How can innovation help? 

You can help respond to our local needs by addressing the following challenge statements:

  1. How might we maximise digital solutions to support self-management of health risks and chronic conditions?
  2. How can digital solutions emphasise patient responsibility and, acting in conjunction with the provider community, move beyond education, enabling individuals to actively identify challenges and solve problems associated with their illness?
  3. What are the barriers to public awareness and successful patient uptake of these self-management solutions?

We’d love to collaborate with you on these challenges. Please get in touch with Karla Richards karla.richards@nhs.net if you have a digital solution for health and care self-management, including for long-term conditions, mental health, heart disease, COPD etc.

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