self management uk: self-management education, training and support

Here's the shared example

This self-management course has opened my eyes to how much I had lost sight of living my life…This course made me realise only I can take control of myself.

self management uk is the UK’s leading charity in self-management education, training and support. Since 2002, we have been working with patients, carers, healthcare professionals, clinicians and commissioners, providing self-management interventions for those living with one or more long-term health condition.

Our training is delivered by peer facilitators, who either have a long-term condition or look after someone who has. Our tutors have been through a self-management course and have volunteered to be tutors in order to share the life-changing benefits of self-management training. By engaging volunteers, our programmes have an impact on local communities and promote sustainability within local populations.

We offer flexible support for self-management, tailored to local and specific needs. For example, we have worked with Kent Association for the Blind developing a programme suitable for the partially sighted using volunteers who have limited sight; we run a young carers course specifically for 12-15 year olds tailored to their unique challenges of juggling school with family, friends and caring responsibilities; and we have piloted large scale group “lite” sessions in Southend where awareness of self-management was raised and community support groups were available for future signposting.

We have found that the benefits to people living with long term health needs are significant: increased self-confidence; increased control over own health and wellbeing; greater ability to participate in shared-decision making; reduced time off work; better symptom management, with reductions in pain, anxiety, depression and tiredness and improved clinical outcomes in people with arthritis, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, heart failure, stroke, cancer and other conditions.

Participants say:

This self-management course has opened my eyes to how much I had lost sight of living my life…This course made me realise only I can take control of myself.

I remember one instance where I was taken to A&E and the triage nurse was amazed at how quickly I was able to describe my symptoms and tell her about my medication. She told me she often spent 20 minutes on the patient’s medical history. She said it would save the NHS a fortune if everyone could do what I did that night.

A person who is better informed about their condition becomes a better self-manager.

The course promotes respect and empathy for doctors and the pressure they are under to supply answers quickly in short consultations.

Now that I’ve learned to self-manage, it’s an ongoing process. I’ve learned skills that will serve me for the rest of my life.

Benefits of supporting self-management for the health and care system

With increasing numbers of people living longer and also living with one or more long-term conditions (LTC), the costs of treating these individuals are estimated at 70% of all healthcare spend.

According to NHS England, only 5.4% of people with a LTC have a written care plan and yet proactive and collaborative care planning can help save on average £452 per patient per year from within this population.

Additionally, effective support for self-management can assist with systems resilience, alleviating the pressure at times of crisis:

  • 50% reduction in hospital services overall
  • 16% reduction in A&E attendances
  • 10% reduction in outpatient visits
  • 7% reduction in GP consultations

For more information, please see or contact Sarah Barker, Commercial Executive at

Population groups: 
Children and young people
People with long term conditions
People with sensory impairment or other communication needs
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