Self Management means ensuring people are in the driving seat of their health and wellbeing, recognising that everyone has strengths, skills and experience that support their health and wellbeing and enable them to manage the impact of their long term condition(s) or caring role. For staff to treat the medical condition in isolation from what is a much more complex human picture is reductive. It ignores the fact that ultimately the key to the successful self management of long term conditions lies in the hands of the person who lives with the condition and their desire and ability to care about themselves.
Self Management is a key driver in person centred care in Scotland, underpinning national NHS policies including Realistic Medicine, National Health and Care Standards, Health Literacy and the 2020 Vision.
The agenda in Scotland is led by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, the national third sector intermediary for a range of health and social care organisations. Our core aim is for a Scotland where people of all ages who are disabled or living with long term conditions, and unpaid carers, have a strong voice and enjoy their right to live well, as equal and active citizens, free from discrimination, with support and services that put them at the centre.
It was identified from our learning and that of our members as well as the wider evidence base that there was a need for health and social care professionals to have a safe space and a structured opportunity to reflect in their practice in order to create a greater social impact and support for self management.
The Self Management Reflective Practice was developed as a free training resource for frontline health and social care professionals who support people living with a long term condition, disabled people and unpaid carers. The session aims to give a clearer and broader understanding of self management as a person centred approach, exploring together what delegates can do in their role to support self management and what support they need to be able to work this way. In addition, the session gives knowledge of where to find further support and resources and actions to take forward in their role. It allows staff to become aware of their implicit knowledge base and learn from their experiences.
The training is based on real experiences of people living with long term conditions and unpaid carers and what they would like from professionals who support their self management. People have shared a range of stories used to support professionals reflect on using existing skills to support self management.
We know that in Scotland, 40% of people live with a long term condition. With an ageing population and more people living longer with more complex needs it is imperative that health and social care professionals are equipped and able to support people through a more person centred approach and encourage a culture to work in partnership with individuals to improve overall health and wellbeing outcomes.