Prevention, Early Intervention, and Self-management
The promotion of Self-management is a crucial basis for the future of effective health and social care provision. The aim is to support people to make their own choices and decisions at the earliest stage, and maximise their opportunities for control and ownership, minimising the need for input from services.
If we are to effectively engage with people earlier, we have to move the conversations away from service responses informed by 'criteria' and 'eligibility'.
The focus needs to be on:
- simple engagement in the form of effective conversations, which helps holistically identify the issues;
- assistance, provided with the lightest of touches, and;
- ensuring the person is taking the lead in understanding and addressing any actions required.
Work around the Framework for supporting people through Recovery and Rehabilitation during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic will help underpin these approaches, and has highlighted the importance of engaging with people much sooner, and offering simple advice and signposting which will enable the person to better understand how best they can support themselves.
The Housing Solutions approach described later in this Guidance highlights the importance of having early housing conversations with people before they are in crisis, to help them identify their long term housing needs, fully explore all options, and plan accordingly.
There are also simple mechanisms which can support prevention, early-intervention and self-management: A number of partnerships have worked with charitable or commercial organisations, or developed their own in-house solutions to assist people to be able to self-manage and self-assess their needs and make informed choices.
- Equipu Partnership Ask Sara Assessment Tool
- Aberdeen City, Bon Accord service, in-house website Equip Me For Living
- East Lothian HILDA self-assessment tool
Approaches such as this can also help assist with 'healthcare literacy', which has been one of the key issues highlighted as a barrier to supporting people to better understand their condition and then to help them, help themselves.
It is critical that our services support measures to promote better access to quality information, and sharing of information which helps people explore and understand their options, and manage their conditions, as part of early intervention strategies.
- Services should review and challenge their strategies, policies, and existing operational arrangements and service pathways across equipment and adaptation service provision, to ensure they are actively promoting and helping people maximise their own independence.
- Services should implement a range of approaches/solutions, at key stages in the service pathways (E.g. front door services, but also where service users and their families may require support when needs change), across all service settings (hospital and community), to assist people to self-manage and self-assess their needs, and make informed choices.
- Services should support measures to promote better access to quality information, in all relevant accessible formats, and effective methods of sharing of information which helps people explore and understand their options, and manage their conditions, as part of early intervention strategies.
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