Working with older adults you realise how unselfish a group they are with regards to their care needs: "spend the money on the children who need it, they are the future."
You also realise that although there are growing numbers of 'silver surfers' (sorry) and their number will swell - the use of digital technology by the general public remains yet another potential source of inequality.
Many years ago I came across HealthSpace (UK) as a fledgling approach and application. I was really impressed as it underlined the need for a generic conceptual framework for health and social care - from senior school through to older age.
It is often said that effective communication needs a channel that is noise free - well here in Hodges' model is a resource to reduce noise for health information across many contexts:
- social marketing
- care planning, evaluation and management
- carer support
For those who do not want to engage - are they to be literally pressed into service? Obviously not - and besides recruitment to the UK services is growing. Jokes aside though the pressure to get the public to add value to their own care is critical to the future sustainability of the health and social care system.
Which brings me back to HealthSpace and the following news on e-Health Insider:
'HealthSpace expansion plans shelved'
Last year’s Health Informatics Review outlined a wide-ranging role for HealthSpace, but the DH has now done a U-turn and demanded more evidence of the site’s value to patients before pushing ahead with further expansion.
An outline business case worth £80m to £90m – one source puts the figure at £98m - had been developed by CfH, which was to have been submitted to the Treasury earlier this year.
However, the DH is understood to have spiked the business case, seeking more evidence for the value of HealthSpace, which has not received the backing of Christine Connelly, director general of informatics.
Dr Neil Bacon, founder of the doctors’ website doctors.net and the patient website iwantgreatcare.org, said he was unsurprised that the DH had shelved its plans.
“I think this is their way of quietly getting rid of it,” he told EHI Primary Care. “In the commercial world, if a solution with more than 250,000 potential users had only been used by 400 people it would already have been put out of its misery.”
Dr Bacon said he believed there was a clear and growing demand for patients to manage their own health records but that innovative, entrepreneurial solutions rather than government-led solutions would meet that demand.
More to follow no doubt - but do take care even now if you live by the coast ....
DIY doctors: patients can boost NHS's value, 30 April 2009, HSJ, Paul Corrigan
The Impress Service
The Royal Navy
Image source: Press Gang stamp