Tools to help you plan and
support self care
The basic planning process: taking account of political, economic, sociological and technological (PEST) factors
Environmental perspectives include:
- technological factors.
Why you should use this
A PEST analysis focuses on factors external to the PCT or practice allowing analysis of drivers that may or may not be within the organisation’s control. A PEST analysis should be carried out in the context of the broader picture – the climate in which the PCT/practice operates.
When to use this
For defining the PCT’s or practice’s future purpose – in this instance, supporting self care and developing an integrated resource for self care. Or as a template for a teambuilding event over a half/whole day.
What to do
There are three stages in the planning process:
- Stage 1: establish the organisation’s current position
- Stage 2: define where the organisation wants to be (1–3 years)
- Stage 3: map the gap by identifying what you need to get there.
Discuss the political, economic, sociological and technological factors that influence your PCT’s/practice’s aims and objectives:
How it works (insight)
Start with an assessment of where the PCT/practice is currently – in relation to promoting self care and developing an integrated resource to support self care; what influences this aim and what factors affect it. So the PEST analysis should reflect the perspectives and issues of other healthcare providers, patient groups and target population and the current local situation (politically and in terms of the level of social capital). It should draw on profiles, audits and surveys that are relevant.
Whom to engage
This could be the executive teams in the PCT or key personnel in a practice team.
How much time you should allow
Two hours to a whole day (dependent on application and target group).
What a facilitator should do
Engage the people who need to be present to complete the PEST analysis and ensuing action plan, set the scene, explain the nature of the exercise. Encourage those taking part to agree the specific purpose and subsequent work.
What to do next
Write up the PEST analysis and preliminary conclusions and any action plan. Ask key participants to revise the document. Be a link between completion of the PEST and evolution of the action plan. Ensure the action plan is do-able – and help to take it forward across the PCT/practice and with external stakeholders, according to the purpose.
What makes it work better
- Involvement of senior people in the PCT/practice planning, and completion of the
PEST analysis ensuring it fits with strategy, policy and action.
- An informal and friendly environment where everyone feels that their views are
valued so that they can contribute, whatever their role in the organisation.
- Engagement and contributions from the external parties whose views are key to the discussion of political, economic, sociological and technical perspectives relevant to the promotion and development of self care support.
What can go wrong
- The PEST analysis being undertaken in a ‘vacuum’ so that the material produced is
not used afterwards and little happens as a result
- Too few ‘outsiders’ being involved, so that the PCT/practice do not appreciate others’ perspectives of their plans.