Home Group and Insignia Health join forces to reduce pressure on primary care

August 09, 2018

Home Group and Insignia Health join forces to reduce pressure on primary care

Following a successful 12-month pilot in Durham and Birmingham, Home Group and Insignia Health are formally launching a national partnership that will see housing play a significant role in patient activation.

As one of the UK’s largest providers of integrated health and housing, Home Group will adopt Insignia Health’s Patient Activation Measure® (PAM®) survey at eight supported housing schemes with the immediate aim of identifying and providing suitable interventions to empower customers to manage their health effectively. 

Whilst more than 60 healthcare agencies, including CCGs, hospitals and foundation trusts, are licensed by Insignia Health to use PAM, Home Group is the first housing provider to enter into a direct contract to use PAM.  As such, a number of colleagues have already been trained to administer the survey and provide health coaching based on a customer’s PAM score and level of activation.

Rachael Byrne, executive director – new models of care, Home Group, said: “PAM will play a key role in our approach to whole-person care, allowing us to tailor resource effectively, and empower customers to live healthier lives.

“As a housing provider, we are very well placed to provide the day-to-day coaching with customers who need extra support, enabling them to increase their activation over time and therefore better manage their health, thus reducing pressures on primary care services.”

What is PAM?

The Patient Activation Measure was developed by researchers at the University of Oregon (USA) and is licensed by Insignia Health.  PAM provides insight into a person’s knowledge, skills and confidence for self-managing one’s overall health, including long-term conditions.

PAM segments individuals into one of four activation levels along an empirically derived 100-point scale.  Each level provides insight into an extensive array of health-related characteristics, including attitudes, motivators, and behaviours.  

Individuals in the lowest activation level typically do not yet understand the importance of their role in managing their own health, and may have significant knowledge gaps and limited self-management skills.  Individuals in the highest activation level tend to be more proactive with their health, have developed strong self-management skills, and are resilient in times of stress or change.

“Completing PAM is the starting point,” said Chris Delaney, CEO, Insignia Health.  “Knowing a person’s level of activation will help coaches and providers more effectively tailor their conversations and care plans to the self-management abilities of the individuals they support.  The support Home Group brings to the in-home setting further amplifies the benefits of PAM-based support for patients lower in activation who often feel isolated and lack a social support network.”  

As a national housing provider, Home Group, which already partners with 10 NHS trusts in the delivery of step up, step down and independent supported living services, is able to deliver PAM-based coaching on behalf of health trusts. Indeed, during Home Group’s PAM pilot, a 98% increase in PAM score was seen in patients who received coaching, showing that tailored interventions are key in increasing activation scores.

Additionally, the organisation reported a 32% increase in overall wellbeing, and a 45% increase in quality of life for all who took part.

Rachael added: “We know that health professionals often spend a disproportionate amount of their time dealing with social issues when patients present with, for example, mental illness that is exacerbated by housing problems, financial strain or isolation.

“I believe that housing has a role to play in alleviating this pressure, so that GPs, for example, can ensure their appointments are spent on genuine medical concerns. Not only that, as patients will have a better understanding of their conditions, conversations can more quickly get to the nub of the problem.

“In a nutshell, I see it as an opportunity for sectors to come together, share the load and deliver better outcomes for patients.”

Full Press Release