Department of Health and Social Care
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

Government launches guidance to assist in support for Self Care

Government launches guidance to assist in support for Self Care

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release issued by The Government News Network on 1 May 2008

Health Minister Ivan Lewis today announced the introduction of seven Common Core Principles to Support Self Care, designed to help health and social care staff support people to live independently, stay healthy and make the most of their lives by managing their conditions.

The Common Core Principles, which have been developed with Skills for Health and Skills for Care, will be available to employers, managers and workers in health and social care services so that they can use them to help service users get the most out of their care.

The principles aim to help health and social care services enable people to have better control over and responsibility for their own health and well-being, working in partnership with health and social care professionals. The Common Core Principles are intended to support self care in its broadest sense by helping staff across health and social care develop the skills needed to provide people with access to appropriate training, information and support networks. They are aimed at, but not limited to, staff supporting individuals living with a long term condition or with complex needs.

Minister for Care Services Ivan Lewis said:

"Supporting self care is consistent with our policy of putting people first. People want control over their lives enabling them, their families and carers to maintain and improve their well-being and independence.

The Common Core Principles to Support Self Care are intended to be a resource for reflection, challenge and practice change. Their purpose is to enable organisations and all those who work in health and social care, whether as commissioners, service providers or educators, to make personalised services, enablement and early intervention to promote independence a reality."

Minister for Health Services Ann Keen said:

"We encourage commissioners, employers and workers to embed the principles in their policies, their agreements with other agencies, and their own culture and practices. In this way, we can help people to realise their aspirations for independence and greater control over their lives, making services flexible and responsive to individual needs.

The vision is of people who use services, empowered with advice, support and information, having choice about the services they want, being able to take more responsibility for their health and their lives and a more active role in managing their own care if this is what they want. The Common Core Principles to Support Self Care provide a vital building block in realising the vision."

The Common Core Principles to Support Self Care build upon the Department of Health's White Paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say in 2006, which outlined how people should be at the centre of the care planning process, and recognise that they are best placed to understand their own needs and how to meet them.

The seven principles are as follows:

* Ensure individuals are able to make informed choices to manage their self care needs

* Communicate effectively to enable individuals to assess their needs, and develop and gain confidence to self care

* Support and enable individuals to access appropriate information to manage their self care needs

* Support and enable individuals to develop skills in self care

* Support and enable individuals to use technology to support self care

* Advise individuals how to access support networks and participate in the planning, development and evaluation of services

* Support and enable risk management and risk taking to maximise independence and choice

The principles support the radical reform of health and social care services that is needed to meet the government's aspiration to put people first and achieve world class service across all public services.

[ENDS]

Note to Editors:

1) The principles are intended for use by the whole of the health and social care workforce and set out the skills and knowledge needed by staff to support people to self care.

2) The principles are consistent with the seven outcomes expected from adult care services - that people, irrespective of illness or disability, are supported to:

* live independently

* stay healthy and recover quickly from illness

* exercise maximum control over their own life and where appropriate the lives of their family members

* sustain a family unit which avoids children being required to take on inappropriate caring roles

* participate as active and equal citizens, both economically and socially

* have the best possible quality of life, irrespective of illness or disability

* retain maximum dignity and respect

2) The principles were drawn up following an extensive consultation run by Skills for Health and Skills for Care.

Multi-Agency Collaboration in UK Government: Latest report