Learning from people with long-term conditions: new insights for governance in primary health care

Ross, Fiona, Smith, Pam, Byng, Richard, Christian, Sara, Allan, Helen T., Price, Linnie and Brearley, Sally (2014) Learning from people with long-term conditions: new insights for governance in primary health care. Health & Social Care in the Community, 22 (4). pp. 405-416. ISSN 0966-0410 (doi:10.1111/hsc.12097)

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Abstract

Internationally, system-wide changes to the structures and systems governing health care aim to improve outcomes for patients, quality of care and access to services. The introduction of top-down centrally driven solutions to governance of health care, at the same time as increasing policy emphasis on greater ‘bottom up’ patient and public involvement in all aspects of health care, has set up complex tensions for policy implementation and health care practice. This paper explores the interplay of these agendas in the context of changes in primary health care services provided by the National Health Service (NHS) in England. Specifically, it looks at an example of service user involvement in a study (the PEGI study) of professional response to changes in the governance and incentives in the care of people with long-term conditions. This qualitative study was conducted in three Primary Care Trust sites in England. Service users influenced and guided the study throughout. In-depth interviews with 56 health and social care professionals engaged in the development of local policies and the delivery of care for people with complex long-term illness drew on vignettes developed by 32 members from three Service User Reference Groups (SURG). Themes generated by the cross case analysis were validated through these SURG groups. The findings presented here focus on four themes about risk and comparison of professionals’/service users’ perspectives of the issues: managing risks/consistent support, the risks of letting go/feeling in control, professionalism/helping people to help themselves, and managing expectations/professionals losing out. Service user involvement added value by: validating understandings of governance, framing debates to focus on what matters at the point of care, and enabling perspective sharing and interaction. We suggest that more collaborative forms of governance in health care, that take account of service user perspectives and enable interaction with professional groups, could help to validate processes of quality assurance and provide motivation for continuous quality improvement. We offer a model for ‘opening up’ collaborative projects to evaluation and appraisal and a process for critical reflection of the interrelationships between the PEGI study context, researcher issues, methods/approach and outcomes/impact of service user involvement.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article first published online: 24 Feb 2014.
Keywords (uncontrolled): Governance, incentives, long-term conditions, risk, service user involvement, patient participation, collaboration
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Adult, Child and Midwifery
Item ID: 15174
Notes on copyright: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ross, F., Smith, P., Byng, R., Christian, S., Allan, H., Price, L. and Brearley, S. (2014), Learning from people with long-term conditions: new insights for governance in primary healthcare. Health & Social Care in the Community, 22: 405–416. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12097, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12097. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."
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Depositing User: Helen Allan
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2015 10:08
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2019 11:41
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/15174

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