To mark Psoriasis Awareness Week (1-8 November 2014) the Psoriasis Associationis launching a new range of leaflets to provide 1.8 million UK patients with comprehensive information about their psoriasis and the care options available on the NHS.
The leaflets have been developed in response to a mounting call for high quality patient information - revealed in a number of independent reports published over the last 18 months - which patients can use to play a more active role in the management of their condition.
A report published last month 'Patients in Control: why people with long-term conditions must be empowered'[i] found that:
- Over half (53 per cent) of respondents were not offered support or information on their long-term condition (of which psoriasis is one) at diagnosis
- Over three quarters (77 per cent) of respondents felt that they could and should be managing more of their healthcare independently at home – but said that a lack of support and information was holding them back from doing so
This was based on a survey of 2,500 people with long-term conditions.
This series of leaflets aims to address that information gap for all psoriasis patients in the UK, with information beyond the basic 'What is psoriasis?' and 'What treatments are available?'
Psoriasis Association Chief Executive, Helen McAteer, says: "We want patients with all forms of psoriasis to understand what treatments are available to them as well as the NICE guidance that applies. Managing psoriasis goes beyond physical treatment, and many healthcare teams should now offer support to help patients cope with the implications of living with psoriasis and managing a chronic condition."
Dr David Eedy, President of the British Association for Dermatology says "Patient information resources such as these by the Psoriasis Association are hugely important, they allow patients to better get to grips with how best to manage their condition and understand their treatment options. These resources are also a vital tool for clinicians working in over-stretched, under-staffed dermatology clinics and give patients the opportunity to read and digest information in their own time."
A report from the Patient Information Forum[ii] (PiF) showed that providing clear patient information can have far-reaching benefits for both patients and our pressurised health system. One extract states 'Research shows that [patient] engagement improves patients' knowledge, experience and satisfaction, reduces costs through greater self-care/self-management and more appropriate use of services, and leads to improved health behaviours and adherence to treatment'.
The importance of patient information is also a major part of the 2014-2016 strategy document from Healthwatch England[iii], set up to realise the health and social care reforms of 2012 which aim to put people at the centre of social care. A patient quote from this report states "I want the right to clear and accurate information that I can use to make decisions about health and care treatment. I want the right to education about how to take care of myself and what I am entitled to in the health and social care system."
The leaflets, are available through doctors and on the Psoriasis Associationwebsite. The Psoriasis Association is a member of the accredited Information Standard scheme, providing reliable health and social care information:http://www.england.nhs.uk/tis/.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition affecting 2-3 per cent (up to 1.8 million people) of the population in the UK and Ireland. Psoriasis is a chronic immune condition which affects the skin and sometimes the joints.
About the Psoriasis Association
The Psoriasis Association is the leading national charity and membership organisation for people affected by psoriasis – patients, families, carers and health professionals – in the UK. We run a helpline service for people who need information, advice and support and two websites: www.psoriasis-association.org.uk and one specifically for teenagers and young peoplewww.psoteen.otg.uk
[i] http://www.ippr.org/publications/patients-in-control-why-people-with-long-term-conditions-must-be-empowered. Accessed October 2014.
[ii] http://www.pifonline.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/PiF-full-report-FINAL-new.pdf Accessed October 2014.
[iii] http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/resource/healthwatch-england-strategy-2014-16 Accessed October 2014.