The ALLIANCE is the national third sector intermediary for a range of health and social care organisations. The ALLIANCE has over 1,700 members including large, national support providers as well as small, local volunteer-led groups and people who are disabled, living with long term conditions or providing unpaid care.
Our Self Management Team, works with our members, policy makers and key stakeholders to increase awareness of self management at all levels to ensure people with long term conditions are living better with self management. At service level this means health and social care professionals are working in partnership to provide individuals with appropriate support when needed. Self management can support and encourage access to information and develop individuals’ skills to find out what is right for their condition(s) and most importantly, right for them.
Health Literacy plays a key role in the self management agenda, allowing people to have the confidence to use health information and be active partners in their care. This year’s Self Management Awards finalist highlighted an array of good practice, giving individuals access to information and services which communicate well with those who access it. Our three finalists in the Best Self Management Resource category were:
- NHS Centre for Integrative Care
- Self Help 4 Stroke by Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland
- My Diabetes, My Way by NHS Scotland
All of the above are worthy of recognition as health literacy heroes.
In practice, self management can mean different things to different people. For everyone, it means using information, tools, techniques and practical support from other people to get on with your life. There is no one size fits all model of self management. It is not an individual action, specific treatment or service. It has to be tailored to each person’s needs, circumstances and wishes. The challenge is to get on with life while dealing with the reality of living with one or more long term conditions.
Health Literacy Month, is a great opportunity to highlight the partnership between the two and the drive for Scotland and to be a health literacy society where everyone is enabled to have the confidence, knowledge understanding and skills to live well on their own terns and with any health condition (Scottish Government, 2014). Our campaign, My Condition, My Terms, My Life and our Self Management Network Scotland offer further support in this area.
Partnership and Practice Programme Manager