Liberating the NHS: Greater choice and control

Liberating the NHS: Greater choice and control

Author: Department of Health

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The government consultation paper published in October 2010 reinforces the aspiration set out in the White Paper that people with long term conditions should be at the centre of decisions about their care and support.

The government has recognised that this requires not simply more information but a significant shift in culture for many: health professionals, who might be unfamiliar with encouraging people to take a more active role in managing and maximising their health; patients, service users, their families and carers, who might be used to following health professionals’ advice without questioning, understanding or engaging in discussing different options and approaches; and healthcare commissioners, who might need to change the contracts they have in place.

The government notes the important role of education and training to help existing and new healthcare professionals to involve people more in decisions about their care and offer them choices and of condition specific and generic self management courses to enable patients and service users to become activated and take control of their health.

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