The People Powered Health approach: what investments would it require and what benefits could it bring?
- We think the People Powered Health approach could reduce the cost of managing patients with long-term conditions by up to 20 per cent.
- The financial business case for People Powered Health rests on two key areas of benefit. The first is the ability to mobilise the asset base that is patients, service users and their communities. Joining up these individual efforts allows them to add to far more than the sum of the parts.
- The second area of benefit is reductions in unplanned admissions and the requirements for expensive, acute care.
- The NHS in England could realise savings of at least £4.4 billion a year if it adopted People Powered Health innovations that involve patients, their families and communities more directly in the management of long term health conditions.
- These savings are based on the most reliable evidence and represent a 7 per cent reduction in terms of reduced A&E attendance, planned and unplanned admissions, and outpatient admissions. There is therefore both a social and financial imperative to scale the People Powered Health approach.
The People Powered Health approach involves five areas of practice: More than medicine (new services); people helping people (peer support); redefining consultations, networks and partnerships; and user co-design and co-delivery. The most robust research literature focuses on two of these – redefining consultations and peer support – and suggests these types of interventions can improve health outcomes in all the most common long-term conditions, with patients more stable, less prone to exacerbation and demonstrating improvements in their core clinical indicators.
As a result, there is a reduction in the cost of delivering healthcare of approximately 7 per cent of the commissioning budget – through decreasing A&E attendances, reducing hospital admissions, reduced length of stay and decreased patient attendances. Putting this into practice would save the NHS £4.4 billion across England.
However, we think that the People Powered Health approach could achieve even higher savings. This is both because the median of all available evidence, including less robust studies, suggests the cost of managing patients with long-term conditions could be reduced by up to 20 per cent, and the experience of the six sites suggests People Powered Health interventions are enablers of each other at scale.