'Active Patient: The case for self-direciton in healthcare'

New policy paper, written by Vidhya Alakeson, arguing that individual budgets can create a more patient-centred and integrated health and social care system.

This paper was published as part of a series from the Centre for Welfare Reform and Birmingham University Health Services Management Centre and builds on work from a two-day think-tank on innovation in health and social care.

Active Patient Self-direction in healthcare Thumbnail It proposes the development of self-direction in healthcare, arguing that it will improve health outcomes, prevent individuals becoming dependent on specialist services and make the NHS more efficient.

The paper argues that the current health service focuses on services rather than outcomes and prioritises professional expertise over the experience of individuals. Alakeson makes the case that in many areas of healthcare where there is more than one possible treatment, individuals and families want to be supported to be active partners with professionals in decisions about their care.

According to the paper, making individual budgets work will depend on a shift in thinking in three areas:

1.   A shift in the balance of power between professionals and patients in favour of patients.

2.   A shift from a system defined by the services it delivers to the health outcomes it secures.

3.   A shift towards a whole person approach with one integrated budget per person covering all health and social needs.

For more information and to download the full report please visit the Centre for Welfare Reform.

Last Updated : 09 February 2011. Page Author: Paul Ferguson.