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Personalised care

Personalised care

The way people use NHS services is changing. In 2019 the NHS published a long term plan, which explained how NHS services in England will change and improve over the following 10 years to deliver better, more effective and more efficient patient care.

One of the five key priorities in this long term plan sets out how people using NHS services can have more control over their own health because of a new way of providing services called personalised care.

Personalised care means making sure that people have the same choices and control over their physical and mental health and wellbeing that they expect to have in other areas of their lives. Personalised Care is sometimes referred to as ‘patient-centred care’, ‘person-centred care’ or ‘personalisation’.

Watch the video explainer below to find out more about personalised care:

Personalised care helps lots of people, including those with long term illness, mental health and complex needs, and social issues which affect their health and wellbeing. It helps people – with support from healthcare professionals – to make their own decisions about how to best manage their health so they can live their lives how they want to, based on what matters most to them.

Personalised care has been introduced because a one-size-fits-all health and care system can’t meet people’s increasingly complex needs and expectations. Evidence shows that people have better experiences and better health and wellbeing if they are actively involved in shaping their own care and support through a range of personalised care packages.

Over 2.5 million people will benefit from personalised care by the end of 2024, rising to five million by 2028/29.

How will personalised care change things? 

Personalised care is made up of six different parts, which are also known as standard models of care. These have all been developed and co-produced by people with lived experience. Evidence has shown that to make the most of personalised care, each of these six parts should be delivered to people together, and in full.

Find out more about the six different areas of personalised care below.

(Clicking the title will show more information).


1. Shared decision making (bringing together all those involved in providing care and the individual needing support as equals)

Shared decision-making means people are supported to make decisions that are right for them. Clinicians will work with and support a patient to reach a decision about their treatment. The conversation brings together:

  • The clinician’s expertise, such as treatment options, evidence, risks and benefits.
  • What the patient knows best: their preferences, personal circumstances, goals, values and beliefs.

Find out more at the NHS England shared decision making web pages


    2. Personalised care and support planning (jointly agreed) – for the 30% of people with one or more long-term conditions

    Personalised care and support planning means helping someone with a long-term health condition (or those who know them well) explore how their health and well-being is managed and as a result, developing a healthcare plan that takes into account their whole life and family situation.

    Personalised care and support planning is important for people receiving health and social care services because it looks at all their experiences, including what works well for them, and what doesn’t, and brings all this together with their health and wellbeing needs in one joined-up, personalised healthcare plan.

    Find out more at the NHS England personalised care webpages

      3. Enabling choice, including legal rights to choice – your legal and other rights to choose how and when to receive NHS care

      You have the right to make choices about the services commissioned by NHS bodies, and to information and support to make these choices. The options available to you will develop over time and depend on your individual needs.

      Your legal rights include:

      • Choosing a GP and GP practice
      • Choosing where to go for a first appointment as an outpatient
      • Asking to change healthcare provider if maximum waiting times are exceeded
      • Choosing to have a Personal Health Budget.

      Other choices depend on what services are available in your local area.

      The Handbook to the NHS Constitution describes in more detail the rights in relation to informed patient choice, and the Department of Health and Social Care NHS Choice Framework sets out some of the nationally determined choices available to patients. It explains:

      • When you have choices about your healthcare
      • Where to get more information to help you choose
      • How to complain if you are not offered a choice.

      Choice in mental health care

      Find out more about choice in mental health care at the NHS website. You can also download the Choice in mental health care PDF document which explains more about your choices in mental health care.

      For more information about your choices, please see the NHS England Personalised care choice web pages.

        4. Social prescribing and community-based support (as an addition or alternative to medical treatment)

        Social prescribing is a key component of Personalised Care. It is an approach that connects people to activities, groups, and services in their community to meet the practical, social and emotional needs that affect their health and wellbeing.

        In social prescribing, local groups like charities, social care and health services refer people to a social prescribing link worker. Social prescribing link workers help people to focus on what matters to them, and together they work with people to help them take control of their health and wellbeing by coproducing a simple personalised care and support plan.

        Social prescribing link workers also support existing community groups to be accessible and sustainable, and – working collaboratively with all local partners – help people to start new groups.

        Social prescribing is for people of all ages and works particularly well for people who:

        • Have one or more long term conditions
        • Need support with low level mental health issues
        • Are lonely or isolated
        • Have complex social needs which affect their wellbeing.

        Find out more about social prescribing and community-based support at the NHS England personalised care webpages.


        5. Supported self-management of their own care by the individual involved

        Supported self-management is part of the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to make personalised care available for everyone.

        The term ‘supported self-management’ is another way of describing how health and care services encourage, support and empower people to manage their ongoing physical and mental health conditions themselves.

        Our vision is for everyone in England living with an ongoing health condition or conditions to be empowered to live well with their conditions.

        Contact the self management team at

        6. Personal health budgets and integrated personal budgets (to fund personal care plans) and integrated personal care budgets (where social care is needed too)

        A personal health budget uses NHS funding to create an individually agreed personalised care and support plan that offers people of all ages greater choice and flexibility over how their assessed health and wellbeing needs are met.

        Personalised care and support planning identifies the ways a personal health budget will be spent. This can include a range of things to give people access to care, support and services that are holistic, innovative and build on their strengths.

        Personal health budgets are flexible and can be used to meet a variety of needs.

        More information about personal heath budgets is available below.

        More information

        Other information and frequently asked questions about personalised care for residents, families and businesses/healthcare providers.

        Read a list of Right to Choose frequently asked questions (Updated November-2023)