Today sees the public launch of My Health Tools, a digital self-care technology for people diagnosed with a range of long-term conditions (LTCs) across Kirklees, West Yorkshire.
With 1 in 4 adults suffering from at least one LTC in the Kirklees area, the Public Health team needed a radical but realistic solution to help both patients and practitioners.
Kirklees Council Public Health team in partnership with LookingLocal has worked together with CCG partners (NHS North Kirklees CCG & NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG), people with LTCs and other local health organisations to design My Health Tools, enabling users to self-assess, self-manage and self-monitor their long-term conditions for the first time.
Sarah Muckle, Kirklees Council Acting Director of Public Health says, “At Kirklees we are really excited about My Health Tools and working with our residents in a different way, supporting them to make more informed choices about their own health. Research has shown that self-management of care works; and with My Health Tools users can draw on a wide range of support and advice whenever they need it, 24-hours a day.”
Developed and managed by LookingLocal, the solution focuses on Pain, Anxiety and Breathing Problems, as they dissect so many medical conditions. Tools, resources and knowledge from a range of accredited sources, assists the user to develop self-care skills, as well as being able to access peer support through local and social networks.
My Health Tools is underpinned by a bio-psychosocial model in evaluating and identifying health functioning and supporting positive behavioural change. Simple self-assessment tools support users to identify and prioritise their needs, challenges, long-term goals and targets to help them make informed lifestyle choices.
Users can set goals and identify the level of progress required which can be monitored over time. This clinical Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) methodology has been proven in a number of offline trials both within and beyond Kirklees, and the digital version will provide valuable data in understanding people’s ability and confidence to self-manage to support local commissioning priorities.
The cost to the NHS of long-term conditions has been headline news for some time, and the NHS’s ‘Five Year Forward View’ confirms the need to promote self-care to address the growing costs of LTCs:
“Long term health conditions - rather than illnesses susceptible to a one-off cure - now take 70% of the health service budget. At the same time many (but not all) people wish to be more informed and involved with their own care, challenging the traditional divide between patients and professionals, and offering opportunities for better health through increased prevention and supported self-care.”
“My Health Tools is a direct response to the challenging situation health organisations across the UK find themselves in and their need to deliver quicker, smarter care to people with long-term conditions.” says LookingLocal’s Managing Director, Guy Giles.
“By listening to people with long-term conditions first-hand and working with Kirklees’ Public Health professionals we have built a collaborative solution that is focused on helping users to self-care safely and in sight of clinical professionals, friends and family.”
Kirklees Council is making the platform available to other interested Public Health and CCG colleagues across the country. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
To understand the background to My Health Tools and how and why people with LTCs can use it, see Kirklees’ My Health Tools Introduction video here on Youtube
The suite of tools My Health Tools offers includes but is not limited to:
- CBT based assessment tools
- Setting goals, targets and identifying challenges
- Create a circle of support; healthcare professionals, carers, family, friends
- Trusted, relevant and personal multi-media health and care information/resources
- Journaling tools
See and use My Health Tools on any of your digital devices.