Let’s Get On With It Together
Let’s Get On With It Together (LGOWIT) is a partnership supporting self management across Highland. Partnership members consist of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, Arthritis Care, Highland Third Sector Interface (TSI), University of the Highlands and Islands, NHS Highland, Highland Council, Living it Up, Able Care, Connecting Carers and a person living with a long term condition. (For more about LGOWIT see appendix 2).
Highland TSI host the project, led by a project coordinator, which has been helpful as it enabled the project to work flexibly. Thinking about the best place to host the project has been an important aspect of their learning.
The wider partnership of public sector agencies and third sector staff provide strategic oversight to the work. With such a broad and diverse partnership, the partners learned that taking time to develop their collective vision and structures and create a partnership agreement has been a key factor in LGOWIT’s success. Developing the partnership has been a slow process but the benefits are now being felt, particularly in helping connect people to the various supports available through the partnership organisations.
The partnership has been action oriented rather than simply just a talking shop, which has helped it move on and adapt and develop as things have changed in the wider environment.
Early activities focused on raising awareness of what self management was, particularly with NHS staff, and its value in helping people have more control over their daily lives.
Staff as enablers rather than deliverers
Developing strong relationships has been key to the success of LGOWIT. The partner organisations have deliberately not led but, rather, facilitated and supported communities to take the lead in developing the partnership’s activities – examples of this have been the development of peer support and boccia groups so that they can become self-sustaining.
The partnership arrangement has enabled LGOWIT to achieve greater reach in raising awareness of self management, nevertheless they have had to manage the level of expectation against the capacity of the project to respond and deliver. Even with a high degree of partnership working the project has been very reliant on the project coordinator.
The project has had to change and adapt according to what people want, need and their learning and therefore being flexible has been an important feature in how LGOWIT related to the original funding application of the project since it began. They have learned that timing matters and not to give up if things are difficult.
Seeing Lived Experience as an Asset
People with long term conditions and their carers continue to be at the centre of LGOWIT. The project has worked in partnership with Arthritis Care to run a “training the trainer” course to be able to offer peer led training courses. Nine people participated in a recent course with another planned for November 2015.
People have been involved in leading peer mentoring support sessions, in delivering self management training to others living with long term conditions as well as contributing to health care staff training.
A major development was NHS Highland asking the partnership to develop a Self Management strategy and Action Plan which was co-produced with patients and carers and involved people working together in focus groups.
The partnership is now co-producing a person centred “Self Management Plan” that can be used by anyone living with a long term condition at any point in their journey. For example, staff may use the plan during a hospital visit or it may be used in self management classes.
Other key activities have included events to bring people together to share their experiences such as a Highland wide Asset Mapping event in conjunction with Highland Third Sector Interface. Work is also underway to develop employer accreditation to help support their employees with self management. The project has also worked with Fire and Rescue services to develop advice and guidance about home fire safety.
A major recent success has been the development of a boccia group and there are now teams and a league competition across the area which has proved successful in reducing isolation for some people who live with long term conditions.
Creating opportunities for staff to hear from others outside their own organisation has helped support partnership working and develop a mutual understanding in self management.
On the back of these successes there have been a number of important outcomes and achievements
- There is now a greater awareness of self management across the Highland area, both within agencies and community organisations as evidenced by a recent survey of health care staff
- There is more willingness to share resources and tackle issues together – a key example being the Self Management Plan under development.
- The conversations about the future development of self management are now taking place at a higher strategic level than before LGOWIT started.
Key priorities now for the project are supporting peer mentors, setting up self management groups and ongoing work with groups to help them develop their awareness of self management for people with long term conditions.
For more information, contact:
Self Management Co-ordinator (LGOWIT)
C/o Highland Third Sector Partnership
Bridgend Business Park
Mobile Contact Number: - 07462171369
Office Number: - 01349 864289