Tag Archives: Consumer health information

Expert Patients

Title of driver: Expert patients

Source: Reform

Link to main document: http://www.reform.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Expert-patients.pdf

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: February 2015

Summary of driver: This report recommends stronger patient engagement in the NHS as it is key for the health service to achieve savings of £22 billion by 2020-21.

Patient engagement can improve outcomes and use of resources through patients being better able to manage their conditions, and so reducing medical interventions and invasive procedures, as well as improved public health.

Key features of driver:

  • Patient engagement could achieve £2 billion savings by 2020-21 (10% of NHS England target savings).
  • These savings would come from better self-care, improved public health, and greater patient contribution to their care.
  • For the NHS to become fit for “full engagement” private providers and outside expertise will be needed.
  • Outside the NHS, apps and social networking sites are already used by the public to take control over their health and conditions, helping the expert patient to emerge more quickly outside the NHS than within it. The NHS has made limited progress in the use of social media and technologies to improve the patient experience.
  • NHS providers and commissioners should appoint a “Director of Patient Experience” at board level.
  • The NHS should measure levels of patient engagement, activation and involvement and embrace patient engagement regardless of where it originates (whether outside the NHS or within).

Primary audience: Policy-makers, managers and leaders, commissioners, and NHS providers.

Impact on library policy/practice:

Libraries are in an ideal position to provide educational materials to enable patients to learn about their health and their conditions. Public libraries hold Books on Prescription and other resources while health libraries can support staff to educate patients.

Health libraries are also increasingly asked to provide resources or information for patients.

Libraries can adapt to the use of new technologies for customer service and can share expertise with the wider NHS.

Date last updated: February 2015

Due for review: February 2016

Group member responsible: (HS)


HCLU Consumer Health Information Website (Health Care Libraries Unit NW)

Title of project: HCLU Consumer Health Information Website

Project Team:

  • Health2Works (web designers)
  • Director of Health Libraries NW
  • CPD & Partnerships Manager


  • General Public
  • Health Providers
  • NHS North West CHI Providers

Resources Required: The project will be managed by the HCLU CPD and Partnerships Manager, Gil Young; under the direction of the Director of the Unit, David Stewart. A sum has been allocated by HCLU to develop the website. All other work will be undertaken by the unit and, at this stage of the project, will not require additional funding.

Timeframe: February 2011 – September 2011

Description of product/service: To create a single point of contact for high quality web based health information for the general public with the emphasis on services located in the North West.

Alignment to local, regional and national drivers: 

Liberating the NHS: Developing the healthcare workforce (white paper) Public Health white paper Nov 2010 Department of Health Information Strategy HCLU strategy

Intended outcome for customer / organisation / library: The main outputs of this project will be: A newly developed website providing access to quality consumer health information for the North West public particularly patients and carers. Marketing materials to aid the advocacy of the services Stronger links between the NHS Libraries and the providers of consumer health information in the North West. A raised profile for HCLU

Next steps: The project will share outcomes and learning with stakeholders and the NHS Library community via the HCLU Web Site, the LIHNN newsletter, briefing meetings and the use of e-mail lists. Contacts across the North West will be encouraged to share information with colleagues in order to raise awareness of the project. The project manager will actively seek out opportunities to share project outcomes, for example sharing knowledge with other libraries and health providers, publications and conferences.

At the end of the project period (September 2011), the website will be handed over to HCLU. A brief end of project report will be compiled, together with recommendations on how the project can be developed further.

The power of information

Title of driver: The power of information: putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need

Source: Department of Health

Link to main document

Publication format: PDF

Date of publication: May 2012

Summary of driver: It is a 10-year framework, rather than a detailed strategy for delivery.  The strategy document states that it ‘focuses on information in its broadest sense, including the support people need to navigate and understand the information available’ (2012: 5). The rationale given for this is to ensure that information is available in ways that reduce health inequalities, rather than being increased as a result of the ‘digital by default’ approach in the broader strategy (2012: 15).

Key features of driver:

Changes to national information delivery: NHS Choices and NHS Direct will be replaced with ‘a new, single website “portal”
provided by the Government from 2013.

Support and information: The strategy makes several references to ‘support’. These references can be used to
promote information services.

Health literacy: The strategy supports the development of health literacy (2012: 54). It suggests that health trainers may play a role in supporting health literacy, although this is also a role on which health information services and health libraries can lead.

Information skills: The strategy indicates that health and social care professionals are key ‘information givers’ and that they need to have relevant skills to offer information (2012: 67).

Service integration implications: There is an explicit expectation that patients’ NHS Number will be used as a means
to identify individuals and to integrate their experience of care.

Primary audience: All NHS Trusts.

Impact on library policy/practice: Despite the statement that the strategy concerns ‘information in its broadest sense’, the main focus of the strategy is on data and the role that data can play in supporting high-quality integrated services.  The strategy does not discuss libraries or information services, but it emphasises the importance of support, information skills and health literacy, which provide potential opportunities for library and information service providers. The only explicit reference to information services is that ‘the NHS Commissioning Board will wish to consider publishing commissioning guidance on support, information and advocacy services’ (2012: 66); such guidance could be valuable for ensuring the future of public-facing services.

Case studies / Local service profile examples mapping to this driver: None as of 21.8.12

Date last updated: 20.9.12

Due for review: 21.8.13

Group member responsible: Not yet identified