We were interested to read the article on telephone based health coaching for patients with long term conditions ( Predicting the Future), though it was not clear how many patients were actually receiving such care.
NHS Direct, in partnership with Pfizer Health Solutions, is providing a telephone based outreach care programme for patients in Birmingham with diabetes, heart failure and coronary heart disease. It started in April this year, and has enrolled 1000 patients to date. The programme was commissioned by Birmingham East and North PCT, and part financed by the local SHA.
The service aims to make patients truly empowered partners in their care, maximising their ability to self care, and make optimum use of appropriate health services. Patients are enrolled through primary care, enabling care to be targeted at those who can benefit most. Nurse care managers then take patients through a structured programme of advice, education, motivational counselling and monitoring, tailored to the needs of the individual. Evidence from other countries, particularly the US, demonstrates the effectiveness of such an approach, though we believe our programme is the first of its kind in this country.
Results from the first 6 months are extremely encouraging, with changes in health behaviour and clinical parameters. Birmingham East and North PCT have now extended the size and duration of the project, and we are looking to develop similar programmes with PCTs in other areas. We look forward to the opportunity of providing more details to your readers in the coming months.
Dr Mike Sadler, Chief Operating Officer, NHS Direct