A new £4.95m Health Foundation initiative working with patients and staff across theUKhas offered new hope to people with long-term conditions. The Co-creating Health project will empower local people with long-term conditions to take control of their lives by encouraging better partnership working between patients, doctors and nurses.

The initiative will support eight sites from across theUKto create new models of healthcare that embed self-management in mainstream health services.

It combines an advanced development programme to help clinicians increase their skills in supporting patients to self-manage, as well as a self-management course for people with long-term conditions. The initiative will also enable the sites to redesign services so it is easier for people with long-term conditions to take an active role in managing their health.

Health Foundation assistant director Natalie Grazinwelcomed the initiative: 'Through Co-creating Health, the Health Foundation wants to bring care for long-term conditions into the 21st century.

'Healthcare doesn't stop when patients leave the clinic; they have to carry on managing their condition outside in their daily lives. The experience of coping with this makes them experts in their own health, but currently patients' knowledge and experience are not being used to their full potential.

'It is important that we bring this expertise into conventional healthcare and create a system that shares responsibility for management of a patients health and lets patients take control of their daily lives.'