You can download PDF versions of our Frequently Asked Questions:
If you have any more questions about the My Care, My Way service providing integrated care for older people in West London, please contact your GP who will be happy to help you.
General frequently asked questions
Why is access to care services for older patients in the local area changing?
Your local NHS is introducing a new care service for older adults called My Care, My Way in response to feedback from local people.
They told us that they would like, “access to care for older adults aged 65 and over in the area to be more coordinated and more consistent.”
They said that the way in which care for older people has been offered in the past has been, “too fragmented” and added that patients, “do not want to have to tell their story to lots of different care professionals every time they access care.
I’m over 65. Is access to health and social care changing for me?
Yes, the new service called My Care, My Way, unites all local organisations that could be involved in any aspect of your care. Consequently it has been designed to put you at the centre of any plans and developments made in the management of your care. The service has the aim to help you stay well for longer closer to home.
Have local people been involved in creating the new service My Care, My Way?
Absolutely. Local people have been involved in designing the new service with NHS organisations, voluntary services and local councils. We designed the service guided by patient opinion from the colour of the chairs used in waiting rooms to the name of the service itself.
What does My Care, My Way mean for me?
The pioneering service, My Care, My Way, aims to provide you with access to care services in a more coordinated and consistent way than in the past.
It brings together professionals from health, social care and voluntary organisations and ensures that your GP, together with other care providers, works with you to provide the best possible health and social care services to meet your needs. Even if you have very little health needs My Care, My Way offers an annual check up to help keep you well.
Will my GP still do the same job?
Your GP will still be responsible for your care, as they are now. The biggest change is that your GP will be able to spend more time with you.
Your local NHS has also recruited around 40 new members of staff to work with GPs in Kensington and Chelsea and parts of Westminster (Queen’s Park and Paddington). These are called case managers and health and social care assistants. They have a wide variety of skills and areas of expertise.
Who are in my My Care, My Way integrated care team?
Depending on your current healthcare needs, the people in your My Care, My Way integrated care team will include your GP, a case manager and a health and social care assistant. The number of people in your integrated care team will change over time, depending on your needs.
If you’re feeling well and don’t need to see your GP very often, it’s likely that your integrated care team will include your GP and a health and social care assistant.
If your healthcare needs are more complex, it’s likely that your integrated care team will include your GP, a case manager and a health and social care assistant.
Will my social worker change?
Your social worker will not change. You will continue to receive social care as you do now. However, with your permission, your social worker will work with you and with other care professionals (including your GP) to make sure every aspect of your care plan is in harmony with other health plans.
Any plan you may already have developed with your social worker will become part of your overarching care plan, developed in partnership with your GP.
What is care planning and do I need to do it?
You are invited to come and talk to your GP about planning your care at a care planning meeting and take advantage of the new My Care, My Way service. At the first My Care, My Way meeting you will talk about your health, as well as your day-to-day life. That’s because care planning involves every aspect of your health and social care and considers what is important to you. This is called integrated care.
When you come to your care planning appointment, please feel free to ask any questions you have and be as open as you can with your GP about your situation and other needs. The meeting is all about us working together to you for the best possible result.
What will happen at my care planning appointment?
At your first care planning appointment you will meet the members of your care team. This might include your GP, your case manager and your health and social care assistant. The number of people in your team will depend on your current health and social care needs.
What do I need to bring to my care planning appointment?
It would be helpful if you could bring the following things to your care planning appointment: your NHS number (if you know it), the details of any professional people who are involved in your care and details about any existing health conditions or allergies you have. Please also bring your contact details and, if applicable, information on your next of kin.
How long will the My Care, My Way care planning meeting last?
The length of your care planning meeting will depend on the condition of your health and whether your GP thinks you need to have any tests. If you are attending an appointment at one of the new Integrated Care Centres please be prepared to stay for longer than you would at a normal appointment. This may be because of extra tests you may have there.
What is a care plan?
In general terms a care plan is a record of your discussions with your My Care, My Way integrated care team. It details information that:
- Relates to you and your health
- Supports your care now and in the future
- Aids future decision-making about your care
- Records any decisions made about your care, including your self care goals
Care planning and sharing patient information.
When you attend your first care planning appointment, your GP will ask you if you are happy to share your information. This is because the GP may need to discuss your information with other professionals to provide you with coordinated and consistent care.
Your consent will be recorded in your GP’s system. If you do not give this consent, no personal information about you will be shared with anyone else.
If you do not wish to take part in My Care, My Way care planning, you can talk to your GP about other options that are available to you.
Who will be able to see my records?
GPs, and with your consent, hospital doctors, nurses, social workers and other authorised health and social care professionals who are in direct contact with you will have access to your health and social care records.
Will my information be shared with other people?
Depending on your needs, and with your permission, your GP will work with health and social professionals to plan your care and these professionals will share your information with each other.
This will mean that everyone who is involved in planning or providing your care will have access to your up-to-date information whenever they see you, so your care will be both coordinated and consistent.
How can I be sure my personal information is safe?
Rigorous security measures are in place to ensure your information, which is protected under the Data Protection Act 1998, is safe. Your personal information will only ever be used to support your own direct care. It will never be shared with, or sold to, anyone else.
How is my personal information shared?
Each service that provides you with health or social care services keeps records about you and your health. In the past this information has usually only been shared by letter, email, fax or phone.
What we have learned from patient feedback is that this information “can get lost,” “the process is slow,” and “information is usually not up-to-date across different services.”
Patients have said that they, “often have to repeat their information and tell their story multiple times.” My Care, My Way will stop this from happening.
What if I need an interpreter?
If you need an interpreter to help you at your appointment, please ask us or let the person booking your appointment know at the time of booking.
Can someone come with me to my care planning appointment?
Yes, you can bring someone with you. You are welcome to bring a carer, relative or friend with you to any of your care planning appointments. You may want that person to take part in the discussion, or simply to be there to support you.
Please don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have, or to be open with your GP.
The new care service is focused on improving your care and we can do that best with your help and participation.
What are Integrated Care Centres? Do I need to go there?
Integrated Care Centres are dedicated spaces that bring together key services in one place under one roof. The centres have been designed to offer a wide range of care and support services for your convenience.
There are two Integrated Care Centres in our local area:
How do I get to an Integrated Care Centre?
If you are unable to travel to an Integrated Care Centre on your own please ask us or let the person booking your appointment know at the time of booking.
Still have questions?
If you have any more questions about the new way My Care, My Way is providing care for older people in West London, please contact your GP.
Self Care Frequently Asked Questions
What is Self Care?
Self Care sees you playing an active role in any decision-making about how you receive care and how you choose to manage your health. It happens in close partnership with your GP and with your integrated care team.
How does Self Care work?
Self Care works to help you to play an active part in the way that you receive care and manage your health. As a starting point you will agree a care plan, in partnership with your GP and members of your integrated care team.
What are Self Care goals?
Self Care goals are things that you decide that you want to do, in order to keep yourself as well and as active as you can. It means looking after yourself in a positive and healthy way, whether that’s deciding to eat more vegetables, to trying out a class with some new people.
Your integrated care team will be able to suggest some ways that you can engage in Self Care in a way that you will enjoy and that will best support your health and wellbeing aims.
What if I have one or more complicated long-term health conditions?
With the help of your integrated care team, Self Care will support you to manage any complicated long-term health conditions you have. The service will signpost you to any community events in your area that could help you, your family, or carer to learn more about managing your condition in the best way for you.
It will also help you to manage your own care where you are able, with a variety of resources specific to your needs.
This can help you to make small but significant changes to improve the quality of your life.
Where does Self Care fit with traditional healthcare?
Self Care sits alongside the traditional health care service. It focuses on helping you to stay active and independent for as long as possible. By increasing your personal responsibility, Self Care means that you are able to manage certain aspects of your own care at home with confidence and this contributes to your own independence.
Self Care empowers you with the information you need to look after yourself when you can and gives you greater control of your own health. It’s about being in control of your life, and supporting you so that you can stay well closer to home.
How does My Care, My Way support Self Care?
One of the key elements of My Care, My Way is that it gives you more time with your GP and more time with your integrated care team. The benefit of this extra time is that you can explore your options more fully and with more support. This includes your options for Self Care in all its forms.
What are the benefits of Self Care?
Self Care promotes your health needs by looking at how you and your integrated care team can work together to support your health, both now and in the future. There are many measurable and significant benefits of engaging in Self Care as an approach to looking after yourself. It can have a positive effect upon all aspects of your life, including your physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing.
By following some of the basics of Self Care, such as exercising, eating the right foods, and reducing or eliminating alcohol or tobacco products, you can:
- Potentially enjoy a longer and higher-quality life
- Reduce your risk of certain diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and coronary artery disease
- Boost your overall energy levels
- Enjoy a better night’s sleep
- Ease pain and stiffness in your body.
Self Care can also improve your physical health by reducing your stress levels and the associated risks of heart and vascular disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal problems.
Psychological and emotional health
Looking after yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually, can reduce the risk of mental health problems over time. Self Care can help to build your self-esteem, giving you a sense of meaning or purpose and supporting your ability to manage change in a calm way. It can also help you to sleep better, to reduce anxiety and manage any feelings of anger or powerlessness.
Interpersonal and social health
Interacting with other people and building a community of like-minded people around you can help you to feel well and happy.
Being able to maintain your existing friendships and make new friends can also help to reduce your stress levels. Self-care activities that help you to build your social circle also help you to build your support network, which can help you to feel valued, boosting our self-esteem.
Research indicates that spiritual vitality positively impacts health outcomes. Spirituality may not necessarily mean the practice of a religious faith, but rather can be any way in which you find meaning, hope, comfort, and inner peace.
What Self Care activities are on offer in my area?
There are lots of services run by local charities and community organisations in your area that can help you to access Self Care activities. These organisations run all sorts of events, including exercise classes, de-cluttering services for people leaving hospital, transport, help with shopping, health talks, chaperone services and programmes to help you to manage any existing conditions you may have.
Some services have a specific focus, such as older people or carers, people with dementia or housebound. There are also groups for different ethnic communities.
Where do I go to access Self Care services or to find out more?
You may be able to contact the service you’re interested in directly, or a member of your My Care, My Way integrated care team can refer you to a service which can help you.
What Self Care activities are available in North Kensington, Queen’s Park and Paddington area?
If you live in this area you can access a wide range of Self Care services through community and voluntary organisations like Open Age at the St Charles Integrated Care Centre near Ladbroke Grove. The centre runs over 380 activities every week.
There are also services you can access from Age UK Kensington and Chelsea as well as sessions at the Venture Centre, near St Charles Integrated Care Centre and at the Beethoven Centre, off the Harrow Road in the Queen’s Park area.
What is One Westminster?
One Westminster is a website which has a comprehensive list of organisations offering Self Care events that you can search by activity or by interest group. Visit www.onewestminster.org.uk.
What Self Care activities are available in South Kensington & Chelsea?
If you live in this area you can access a wide range of Self Care services through New Horizons, which is a short distance from the Violet Melchett Integrated Care Clinic in Chelsea. The centre runs over 80 regular activities every week.
There are also services you can access from Age UK Kensington and Chelsea as well as sessions at Chelsea Theatre, near Violet Melchett Integrated Care Centre
What does the Kensington and Chelsea Social Council do?
Kensington and Chelsea Social Council publishes a directory of over 900 groups that operate in our area. To find a group that can help you, search KCSC directory of voluntary organisations here: http://www.kcsc.org.uk/kcsc-directory
What is the People First website?
The People First website is designed to support independent living and encourage you to take control of your life. Whether you want help or advice to sort out an issue in your life, or to find new things to do, there are plenty of options to help.
The website was launched by the three councils of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster and is aimed at providing adult residents with a wealth of information from how to access support at home to details of local accessible transport options.