Personalised care

A group of people chatting

Personalised care gives people the same choice and control over their mental and physical health they have come to expect in every other aspect of their life.

Personalised care helps a range of people, from those with long term illness and complex needs through to people managing mental health issues or struggling with social issues which affect their health and wellbeing. It helps them make decisions about managing their health so they can live the life they want to live based on what matters to them, working alongside clinical information from the professionals who support them.

This is in response to a one-size-fits-all health and care system that simply cannot meet the increasing complexity of people’s needs and expectations. Evidence shows that people will have better experiences and improved health and wellbeing if they can actively shape their care and support.

Our NHS Long Term Plan will make personalised care ‘business as usual’ for 2.5 million people over the next five years through a range of personalised care packages, including the support they need from health professionals to make the most of them.

What we will do

  • Roll out the NHS Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care across England, so that 2.5 million people can have choice and control over support for their mental and physical health.
  • Ensure up to 200,000 people benefit from a personal health budget by 2023/24, so they can control their own care, improve their life experiences and achieve better value for money.
  • Put in place more than 1,000 Social Prescribing link workers by the end of 2020/21, rising further by 2023/24, with the aim that more than 900,000 people are connected to wider community services that can help improve health and well-being.

Social Prescribing Link workers take referrals from GPs and other health and social care staff. They spend time with individuals to find out what matters to them and support them to make connections that will help improve their health and wellbeing. They provide practical and emotional support and over the course of several appointments they connect people to community groups which can help them. This can be anything from singing to swimming, cooking to conservation, luncheon clubs to libraries. They can also advise where to go for further guidance about housing, debt or legal issues.

Our action plan, Universal Personalised Care, confirms how we will deliver this over the next five years.

Putting it into practice – Laura’s story

Laura, a patient at Wideway Medical Centre in Surrey, was one of the first to benefit from a pioneering social prescribing scheme, which saw her receive tailored support from a social prescribing professional as part of her treatment.

In the first video, she talks about how Ray, her social prescribing link worker, worked with her to develop an activity plan to help with her depression and anxiety -and describes the impact it has had on her life.

In the second video, her GP, Dr Mohan Sekeram, gives his perspective on how social prescribing supports personalised care, helping many more patients like Laura to improve their health and wellbeing.

Putting it into practice – Dylan’s story

Dylan, 19, has cerebral palsy and he uses a wheelchair for all his mobility. Through flexible funding across health and social care, he now has a new powered wheelchair so he can live independently for the first time and not rely on any carers.

He will be attending university in 2019. His personal health budget also provides critical savings for the system and will save around £13,000 over three years.

See Dylan receiving his new wheelchair and see what a difference it makes to his life:

Find out more

See what the NHS Long Term Plan has to say about personalised care.

Take a look at our other case studies and films to find out how personalised care across the NHS is changing and developing to better meet people’s needs.