NHS' personalises healthcare with its Universal Personalised Care implementation strategy.

Nesta welcomes the "major step forward" for personalised health care as NHS England published their Universal Personalised Care implementation strategy. The document draws on much of Nesta’s work, putting into practical terms what integrated personal care will look like, such as social prescribing. The NHS’ shift in approach is encouraging, however Nesta is calling on adequate resourcing, funding and culture change to turn the plan into concrete actions.

Raising the profile of personalised care is the culmination of the work of many groups outside of the NHS, and Nesta has heavily contributed to the research and practice underpinning this document. Nesta led the Realising the Value programme and, along with partners, was able to demonstrate what is possible when people have the knowledge, skills and confidence to play an active role in managing their own health, care and wellbeing.

Nesta has worked for over ten years to demonstrate the benefits of combining a deep understanding of what matters to people, with excellent clinical and social care, timely data and strong, sustained social support. This people-powered health approach helps to keep people healthier and for a longer period of time. This can be done through innovative practices that see the NHS and social care system working closely with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector who listen and build trust with people to support their social and psychological needs.

Nesta’s Health Lab has been funding and supporting organisations across the country to demonstrate how people-powered health works in practice. In Newcastle, Ways to Wellness became the world’s first social impact bond focussing on social prescribing for people with long-term health conditions such as diabetes. The Lambeth Living Well Collaborative, which has now been awarded a 10-year £600 million contract, is providing mental health support that is co-produced by a network of social care, NHS, voluntary sector organisations and citizens.

As a follow up to the Long Term Plan, the Universal Personalised Care strategy sets out practical steps to: explore models for commissioning local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations that support models of delivering and scaling innovation; recruit 1,000 link workers to support people with social prescribing activities, reducing the burden on GP services; and embed shared decision making and personalised care and support planning for healthcare professionals