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Couples' romantic celebrations at Overslade House

2nd April 2007

People suffering from long-term illnesses are to have greater control over the management of their treatment and care.

This will work through the Expert Patients Programme as a Community Interest Company (EPP CIC), which aims to enable those suffering long-term illnesses to manage their requirements on a more personal level.

Through the scheme, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are to be able to commission self-management courses for patients requiring long-term care. The scheme could also see the training of volunteers to run the courses.

It is hoped that through self-management, patients will be able to avoid unnecessary hospital trips, as has been shown in preliminary tests of the scheme.

Harry Cayton, national director for Patients and the Public, said: "Self-management is an integral element of care for people with long-term health conditions.

"The EPP CIC is an exciting opportunity for self-management programmes to be provided more widely across health and social care."

Stephen Jacobs OBE, Chair of the EPP CIC, said: "The EPP CIC will be able to make a difference to the lives of the large number of people living with long-term health conditions.

"It is particularly important to work with other health professionals to understand the value of our courses for their patients."

There will be 12,000 places on courses available each year until uptake reaches 100,000 by 2012.