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Putting patients at the centre with Personalised Care

Connect Health Stand: B50
Putting patients at the centre with Personalised Care
In a move aimed to improve health outcomes for patients, Connect Health is introducing a personalised care training programme for all colleagues, in partnership with the Personalised Care Institute (PCI).

The community services healthcare provider is rolling out the training for its staff nationwide, following a successful pilot within its Darlington MSK service. There the introduction of PCI training led to a significant improvement in the proportion of patients that would recommend the service to friends and family – from around 80% to more than 91%.

The PCI is the NHS-commissioned home of personalised care education. It was founded in 2020 to train 75,000 healthcare professionals, following a commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to make personalised care ‘business as usual’ by 2023/24.

The PCI is supported by more than 40 royal colleges and professional healthcare organisations and its quality-assured 30-60 minute eLearning modules – available on the PCI training hub – were added to Health Education England’s Roadmap to Practice for First Contact Practitioners in 2021. However, it is not yet mandated across curriculums or wider healthcare organisations.

Connect Health’s partnership with the PCI means that all of its clinicians, including physios, doctors, counsellors, clinical psychologists, rehab therapists, nurses and occupational therapists, will complete the five personalised care modules as part of their mandatory training. In addition, all non-clinical colleagues across the Connect Health group will carry out the Core Skills in personalised care module as an obligatory requirement.

Dr Graeme Wilkes, Chief Medical Officer at Connect Health, explains why the initiative is so important:

''By working with the PCI we are demonstrating our significant commitment to ensuring that every decision made puts the patient at the centre. For Personalised Care to truly work, simply attending a course is not enough. A combination of strong leadership, co-production and workforce engagement is needed, and by providing specific training for all staff, and providing that leadership, we are well on the way to delivering outcomes that really matter to the people that we work with.''


Connect Health sees personalised care as being a key enabler in positively impacting system elective recovery. By having a care and support plan, the patient can actively self-manage, be enabled to wait well for surgery or treatment and can benefit from community-based support, which can sometimes be overlooked in a traditional model of care.

Dr Emma Hyde, Clinical Director of the Personalised Care Institute (PCI), says:

''We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Connect Health to roll out our free quality assured training to all of their staff. Evidence shows that personalised care delivers better health outcomes and improved experiences for patients and healthcare professionals. It was really pleasing to see the excellent results in Connect Health’s pilot and that mirrors the brilliant feedback we have received from the 35,000+ healthcare professionals that have now completed our modules.''


Andrew Cuff, Head of Clinical Strategy at Connect Health and a PCI Personalised Care Ambassador, adds:

''I am proud to be in a role where I can champion Personalised Care, making the case across Connect Health and the wider NHS, in order to encourage uptake of the PCI’s training resources and support. As an Ambassador, I’m committed to improving and sustaining the delivery of evidence informed, personalised, high-quality healthcare, with a reignited and structured focus on putting the patient at the heart of what we do. For all Connect colleagues, not just clinical colleagues, undergoing training in personalised care, this ethos will be embedded across all organisation functions.''


The PCI modules are underpinned by the PCI’s curriculum for personalised care and will be delivered via The Connect Health Academy – Connect Health’s enhanced learning and development division. Around 900 colleagues will benefit from the training, which aims to make sure patients are at the centre of decisions. The Connect Health Academy is an inclusive environment for all staff to discover, learn, and thrive within the organisation.

The pilot research by Connect Health’s Darlington MSK service was conducted in 2021 using the NHS’ ‘Friends and Family Test’. The results found an association between the PCI training and improved experience of care with the service.

The comprehensive model of personalised care brings together six, evidence-based programmes, each of which is defined by a standard set of practices. Connect Health launched the programme in the Autumn of 2022, which focuses on five of these modules:

● Shared decision making
● Personal care and support planning
● Enabling choice, including legal rights to choice
● Social prescribing and community-based support
● Supported self-management

As an organisation, Connect Health has been an early adopter in the implementation of personalised care and prevention within its services. To support its clinicians and patients on this journey it has carried out a number of initiatives, including:

● invested in health coaching training (2015)
● developed shared decision-making (SDM) aids (2016)
● introduced patient initiated follow up in all of its services (2017)
● piloted collection of the patient activation measure (2020)
● captured patient feedback on SDM via CollaboRATE (2021)



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