Major achievement for personalised care as NHS in England embraces new strategy
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  • Plan published today details action to enhance people’s choice and control over their health and care.

Nesta welcomes the ‘major step forward’ for personalised health care as NHS England publish their Universal Personalised Care implementation strategy today. The document draws on much of Nesta’s work, putting into practical terms what integrated personal care will look like, such as social prescribing. The NHS’ shift in approach is encouraging, however Nesta is calling on adequate resourcing, funding and culture change to turn the plan into concrete actions.

Raising the profile of personalised care is the culmination of the work of many groups outside of the NHS and Nesta has heavily contributed to the research and practice underpinning this document. Nesta led the Realising the Value programme and, along with partners, was able to demonstrate what is possible when people have the knowledge, skills and confidence to play an active role in managing their own health, care and wellbeing.

Nesta has worked for over ten years to demonstrate the benefits of combining a deep understanding of what matters to people, with excellent clinical and social care, timely data, and strong, sustained social support. This people powered health approach helps to keep people healthier and for longer. This can be done through innovative practices that see the NHS and social care system working closely with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector who listen and build trust with people to support their social and psychological needs.

Nesta’s Health Lab has been funding and supporting organisations across the country to demonstrate how people powered health works in practice. In Newcastle, Ways to Wellness became the world’s first social impact bond focusing on social prescribing for people with long term health conditions such as diabetes. The Lambeth Living Well Collaborative, which has now been awarded a 10 year £600m contract, is providing mental health support that is co-produced by a network of social care, NHS, voluntary sector organisations and citizens.

Our Executive Director for Health, People and Impact, Halima Khan, said:

"It's great to see that the NHS is finally seeing personalised care as essential to the healthcare system and has an action plan of how to make that a reality. Nesta has been working closely with NHS England and other organisations to see this change come about for many years and this shift promises a new era for people having a voice over their health, care and wellbeing.

"The plan is right to embrace the many benefits of services offered by the voluntary, community and social enterprise community that can reduce loneliness, improve mental and physical wellbeing and keep people healthier for longer. What is needed now is adequate funding and a clear understanding of ‘what good looks like’ in personalised care, to avoid tick-box approaches.

“Nesta looks forwarding to continuing work with the government and the voluntary, community and social sector to support bold innovation that is powered by the people who need it most."

As a follow up to the Long Term Plan, the Universal Personalised Care strategy sets out practical steps to:

  • Explore models for commissioning local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations that support models of delivering and scaling innovation
  • Recruit 1,000 link workers to support people with social prescribing activities, reducing the burden on GP services
  • Embed shared decision making and personalised care and support planning for healthcare professionals

Nesta looks forward to seeing the strategy implemented and will continue to work closely with the government as well as the voluntary, community and social sector to make universal personalised care a reality.


For more information and interviews, please contact Wallis Grant: 0207 438 2581 / 07537 162 651.

Notes to editors

About Nesta’s People Powered Health project: The People Powered Health programme ran between 2011 and 2013 and supported the design and delivery of innovative services for people living with long term health conditions. Find out more here:

About Nesta: Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time, making use of our knowledge, networks, funding and skills. We work in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. We are a UK charity that works all over the world, supported by a financial endowment. To find out more visit

Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833.