PIF members The British Heart Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Support have teamed up with Nesta to publish Reimagining Help: an evidence-based approach to helping people reach their goals

It includes a new Reimagining Help Guide to diversify sources of help outside of hospital, with the aim of enabling people with long term health conditions to take control. 

The report says, while medical experts play an important role in saving lives, people need more than a ‘fix’ to live well in their everyday lives. 

By applying insights from behaviour change research to a wide range of organisations and places, Good Help allows people to set and achieve their goals in a way that suits them.

Characteristics of Good Help

The Reimagining Help Guide identifies eight characteristics of ‘Good Help’.

These can effectively support practitioners, system leaders and people working in a direct ‘helping’ organisation through the Covid-19 outbreak. 

They include ensuring people have access to the right information at the right time, that they are able to learn new skills in life, and that they are able to manage any setbacks they encounter.

The Reimagining Help Guide is the culmination of a two year-partnership between the three charities, alongside UCL Centre for Behaviour Change and Dartington Service Design Lab. 

It was developed alongside a group of 30 practitioners and people with lived experience of long term health conditions such as cancer and heart and circulatory diseases.  

 'It is vital patients understand their own conditions'

Sally Hughes, British Heart Foundation head of health services engagement, said: “We know how hard it can be for people with long term conditions such as heart failure to get the right kind of help outside of hospital settings. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought this issue into even sharper focus, so the development of this guide is particularly timely.

“Now more than ever, it is vital that patients understand their own condition and feel empowered to make decisions about their own care. 

"If the principles developed for the guide become more widely adopted, it would greatly benefit both patients with long term conditions and also the NHS.”

Sophia Nicola, primary care advisor at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Changing the way people can access help and support has the potential to really improve the lives of people with cancer.

"Empowering people to make decisions and supporting them to manage their condition can yield tangible real-life benefits, such as feeling more in control and better able to cope. 

"We’re really pleased to see the launch of Reimagining Help and we hope to see its principles rolled out more widely in the NHS. 

"Putting knowledge and power in the hands of patients is more important than ever before.”

To find out more about the guide and download the full toolkit visit www.nesta.org.uk/toolkit/reimagining-help.