Patient activation measure tool aims to promote self-management

PAM tool designed to improve outcomes for people with long-term conditions

A tool has been designed to support nurses and doctors in helping patients with long-term conditions manage their care.  

The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) will be used to record how up to 1.8 million people in England feel about managing their health and wellbeing. 

The PAM, which is a validated tool that measures the extent to which people feel engaged and confident in taking care of their health, has been piloted in six areas since 2014. It will be adopted nationally by NHS England over the next five years.

The hope is that measuring 'patient activation' will lead to individuals making positive health choices, getting better care and having fewer hospital admissions.

NHS organisations and their partners are being invited to apply for patient activation licences, which will help them assess and build their patients’ knowledge, skills and confidence in making decisions about their own health and care.

In a 2014 report, the King’s Fund found people who recognise they have a key role in managing their condition, and have the skills, knowledge and confidence to do so, have better outcomes.

NHS England national clinical adviser Alf Collins said: 'Empowering patients to keep themselves well, manage their conditions and stay out of hospital requires health professionals to understand the needs, skills and confidence of the individual.

'The patient activation measure shows promise as a tool to achieve this, and I look forward to seeing how more local areas can use it to provide care that is more person-centred, delivering better outcomes for patients and better value for taxpayers.'

To find out how your organisation can apply for a PAM licence – click here

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