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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Health Sciences secures largest ever Health Foundation grant

Published: 28 January 2014

The Health Foundation has awarded its largest ever grant of £238,000 to the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Health Sciences for a two year study exploring self-management.

Known as Self-Management VOICED (Valued Outcomes of Importance: Consensus and Difference) this study supports current policy emphasis on helping people manage long-term conditions.  

The research aims to discover what outcomes patients, families, health professionals and commissioners believe are important for self-management interventions to deliver, and to identify where there is agreement and disparity between stakeholders.

Findings from the study will support policy drive towards a more person-centred healthcare system, where people are supported to make informed decisions about, and to successfully manage, their own health and care, and choose when to invite others to act on their behalf.

Led by Health Sciences Senior Lecturer in physiotherapy, Dr Sara Demain, the University's study team is gathered from research groups across Health Sciences and also involves collaborations with leading researchers in Leeds (Dr Ian Kellar) and London (Dr Fiona Jones). 

Initially the work comprises a systematic review of the available literature and, following this, the team will be gathering first hand experiences compiled through primary research to assess what really matters to each of these groups.

The final stage will involve a DELPHI study to identify consensus and disagreement across the groups and play an important role in identifying a core set of ‘lessons learned' to inform future practice.

Dr Demain commented: "We are extremely grateful for this grant which enables us to carry out an important body of work, building on our portfolio of expertise in this area.  Working with The Health Foundation brings many advantages to our study including its influence in shaping policy.

"We very much look forward to working closely with the charity to help disseminate and publicise our findings which we hope will benefit those patients and their families in better support for self-management of their conditions and, in turn, benefit the health service."

Research manager for the Health Foundation, Darshan Patel, said: "Supporting people to make informed decisions and successfully manage their own health and care are not only intuitively and ethically attractive, but they can also improve quality of care.

"This vital research will help us to better understand the challenges that need to be overcome to implement self-management support for patients into mainstream healthcare services."

Notes for editors

About the Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of healthcare in the UK.

We want the UK to have a healthcare system of the highest possible quality - safe, effective, person-centred, timely, efficient and equitable. We believe that in order to achieve this, health services need to continually improve the way they work.

We are here to inspire and create the space for people, teams, organisations and systems to make lasting improvements to health services.

Working at every level of the healthcare system, we aim to develop the technical skills, leadership, capacity, knowledge, and the will for change, that are essential for real and lasting improvement.

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