11:35am Sunday 08 December 2019

New approach to help people get more active in managing their health – how could it work in the NHS?

To support the wider use of the PAM questionnaire within the health service, NHS England and the Health Foundation have commissioned academics from the University of Leicester to evaluate its use so far. The evaluation team will look at how five NHS clinical commissioning groups and the UK Renal Registry, holder of a clinical database on renal conditions, are using the PAM questionnaire as part of their initiatives to get patients involved and active in managing their own conditions.

The Health Foundation has a new Data Analytics Team, who will work alongside researchers at the University of Leicester in evaluating the PAM. This team will see if the measure makes a positive difference to people’s health, and the time these changes take, by analysing data from hospital admissions and primary care.

Adam Steventon, Head of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, says: “It is vital to measure and evaluate how well things work in different contexts if we want to make positive and meaningful changes happen. That is why we are excited to see how the Patient Activation Measure is working within the NHS. Our team will study the relationships between patients’ PAM scores, hospital admissions and health outcomes. Where the scores are being used to tailor the services being provided to patients, we plan to examine the effect of these services by comparing PAM respondents to a control group of similar patients.”

Dr Natalie Armstrong, Senior Lecturer in Social Science Applied to Health, is leading the University of Leicester team. Dr Armstrong says: “The Patient Activation Measure has significant potential and this project provides an exciting opportunity to evaluate how it can be used most effectively in this country. Our team’s approach will involve conducting interviews, observations and reviewing documents in order to understand why and how each organisation is using the PAM, how their plans are put into practice, what facilitates or hinders their progress, and what impacts use of the PAM has.”

Giles Wilmore, NHS England’s Director for Patient and Public Voice and Information, said: “The NHS’s Five Year Forward View proposes a move towards more personalised care. This work will help us better understand how the NHS can support people with long-term conditions to realise their own expertise in managing their health, so we are delighted to be working with the Health Foundation and the University of Leicester on this important evaluation, and for the findings to be shared widely.”




Media contact:


Lewis Pickett, Public Affairs Manager (Interim)


E: lewis.pickett@health.org.uk


Note to editors:


The evaluation is jointly funded by NHS England and the Health Foundation. The project has received a total of £120,000 worth of funding with £50,000 from NHS England and £70,000 from the Health Foundation. The project is due to run for two-years.


Currently five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and the UK Renal Registry have been given licences by NHS England to use the Patient Activation Measure created by Dr Judith Hibbard at the University of Oregon. 


The Patient Activation Measure is currently used by five clinical commissioning groups: Sheffield CCG, Islington CCG, NHS Tower Hamlets CCG, Somerset CCG and NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG.


The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to improve the quality of healthcare in the UK.


We are here to support people working in healthcare practice and policy to make lasting improvements to health services.


We carry out research and in-depth policy analysis, run improvement programmes to put ideas into practice in the NHS, support and develop leaders and share evidence to encourage wider change.


We want the UK to have a healthcare system of the highest possible quality – safe, effective, person-centred, timely, efficient and equitable.

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