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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Letter to the Editor - supporting patient self management

10 September, 2013
The CEO of Totally Health believes that health coaching can reduce patient reliance on emergency services

Dear Editor,

Unnecessary attendance at A&E can be minimised if the patient goes to the most appropriate place for treatment - or is supported to better self manage and avoid crisis. This is the real issue at the core of the problems the NHS is facing. Rather than giving the NHS an extra £500m to find short-term solutions to the likely rise in demand for emergency care in the winter months, it is imperative that a long-term solution is found.

£7 out of every £10 in the NHS is being spent on the management of long term conditions; and it is these patients, many of whom are elderly, who would benefit from a more integrated, community-centric care model.

In order to improve care services and reduce the burden on A&E – and indeed the whole NHS - we need an integrated care system, designed around the needs of patients with teams of health care professionals working together, combined with a greater focus on preventing people getting ill and more care being provided directly in people’s homes so they avoid unnecessary hospital visits.

Health coaching sits at the centre of this model, and provides a sustainable human mechanism to sit at the centre and evaluate all available, linked data, and identify areas where technology can help reduce costs, improve care pathways and get care delivered to patients in the place where they want it most – the home.

Yours sincerely,

Wendy Lawrence,

CEO, Totally Health

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