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Guest Post: My Care, My Way - healthcare for the over 65's
Verite writes the blog Cancer Survivorships and today she is talking to us about accessing healthcare as an older person. My Care, My Way puts you at the heart of planning for your care, both today and in the future. It empowers you to manage every aspect of your care in partnership with your GP. A dedicated My Care, My Way team of health and social care professionals also work with your GP. It is designed with you, the patient, as the priority. Have a read and let us know what you think!
Anyone, over 65, who tries to negotiate the minefield that is post cancer care should ask if My Care, My Way system is available yet in their area. Designed for the over-65s with two or more medical conditions (that’s definitely many of us!), talking to cancer patients in London who have landed up in its net, it is WORKING well for them. After pilots in areas around Britain, it is hoped to be rolled out in other areas.
How it started
A Minister had a light-bulb moment; these usually cause a lot of extra work for staff, plus extra expense, and generally fizzle out without trace. But this one has survived, possibly because some strong-willed patients helped set it up, and talking to London cancer survivors who use the service, they are delighted with it.
What a surprise! First the Co-ordinator visited me at home. She came with lots of suggestions: would I like her to arrange visits to medical professionals? Could she help by sorting out appointments, referral letters, etc? I couldn’t believe this was happening, and that anything would come of it.” - Sally
But gradually things are getting sorted. She has arranged for the District Nurse to come and give Sally injections, after she was housebound with broken bones (Osteoporosis), sorted out referral letters, and introduced Sally to several helpful local services, Sally says it feels as if a weight has been lifted off her shoulders: here is someone who can bring together all the different threads that make up her follow-up path.
Even better, Sally says there is a trial in her area, offering massage sessions in the home. She signed up, and has had two sessions of a course of six, and hopes this is proven to be a success as she enjoys it enormously. The therapist tells Sally she may be able to continue with massages, by paying a subsidised rate.
Although cancer survivors often want massage, and would benefit from this, it is difficult to find fully qualified practitioners – so having My Care, My Way choose someone with the right qualifications means Sally knows they are fully qualified, and says she is more than happy to pay a subsidised rate.
Arranging Podiatry appointments in my area of London used to be a nightmare, but thanks to this system I now go to Violet Melchett Clinic for a session, and the wonderful Podiatrist books the next appointment whilst I am there. Why couldn’t we do this before – My Care, My Way has got it sorted!
My Care, My Way is currently available to people living in Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, or the Queen’s Park and Paddington areas of Westminster.
Have you heard of My Care, My Way? How do you find navigating the healthcare system as an older person? Do you have any hints or tips?