Let’s get bothered about self management!

Let’s get bothered about self management! louise.gibson@alliance-scotland.org.uk from Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)


With Scotland’s aging population comes the challenge of living with multiple conditions. People living with multiple conditions are more likely to be admitted to hospital, more likely to be prescribed drugs and have a poorer quality of life. Self management is key to improving outcomes for individuals with multiple conditions – allowing people to live their lives better by being more informed, prepared for everyday challenges and better supported when they need it.

What is self management?

Self management is based on a ‘strengths’ or ‘assets’ based approach. It means working collaboratively with people’s strengths so that together you find the best outcomes and the way to move forwards.


How can Allied Health Practitioners engage in self management?

Allied Health Practitioners (AHPs) can take a shared approach to setting goals and problem solving and can take account of peoples inherent ability for self-healing whilst recognising people with long term conditions as experts in their own life circumstances. Through meaningful conversations, AHPs can encourage self confidence and support people to have more control of their conditions and lives.


Self management makes a difference

Research shows that supporting self management improves:

  • self care behaviours
  • quality of life
  • clinical outcomes
  • patterns of healthcare use

When people are supported to look after themselves:

  • they feel better
  • enjoy life more
  • have less need to visit their doctor or hospital.

By practising self management, AHPs can relieve some of the pressure placed on health providers and help relieve the 70% expenditure which long term conditions are estimated to consume from health and social care resources.  


The figure above shows the journey of a person living their life with a long term condition. The green line depicts the fluctuations associated with managing a long term condition, while the red stripes indicate the episodic consultations from health and social care practitioners. While people themselves are the principle contributors to their health and wellbeing, there are opportunities for AHPs to positively assist with this journey.


What supports self management

  • Gaun Yersel: The Self Management Strategy for Long Term Conditions in Scotland (2008)
  • Mental Health Strategy for Scotland 2012-1015
  • A Route Map to the 2020 Vision for Health and Social Care (2013)
  • House of care:


When to endorse self management.

Now, Now, Now! Supporting self management is essential to the sustainability of delivering quality healthcare services across Scotland. A national acknowledgement of the importance of the individual being at the centre of their health and social care makes it an essential time to embrace an asset based, self management approach.

My Condition, My Terms, My Life

The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) has launched the My Condition, My Terms, My Life campaign to share the message that living with a long term condition does not stop you being in charge of your own life. The campaign aims to:

  • help improve public understanding of what self management means for people living with long term conditions, and
  • encourage people living with long term conditions, and the people who support them to adopt a self management approach


The ALLIANCE would welcome collaborating with any AHPs promoting self-management who are looking for advice, support, guidance and materials in their work.

All enquires to louise.gibson@alliance-scotland.org.uk or call 0141 404 0231.


For Allied Health Professional information related to Long Term Conditions please contact heather.hall@alliance-scotland.org.uk.


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