Abstracts: October 19th, 2009

Some patients with long term conditions, such as heart disease or asthma, have been entitled to personal care plans. But care plans will become compulsory by the end of 2010. The Department of Health has issued guidance on Information Prescriptions which guide people to sources of information to allow them to feel more in control and better able to manage their condition.

In England, 15.4m people have a long term condition. Due to the ageing population it is estimated that by 2025 there will be 42 per cent more people in England aged 65 or over. This will mean that the number of people with at least one long term condition will rise by three million.

Self care is an integral part of daily life and is all about individuals taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, with support from the people involved in their care. It includes the actions people take every day in order to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health, meet their social and psychological needs, prevent illness or accidents, and care more effectively for minor ailments and long term conditions.

The aim of an Information Prescription is to help people manage their care more effectively, allowing them to maintain independence and feel more in control. A Prescription guides patients to information about their health and care, including details about the condition, treatment options, care services and benefits that they may be able to claim.