As part of the Self Management Making Waves, find out how Lomond and Argyll Advocacy Service has made an impact on self management.
As a nominee of the 2018 Self Management Project of the Year Award, we want to share with you the learning from Lomond and Argyll Advocacy Service and their success in supporting self management in Scotland.
Lomond & Argyll Advocacy Service (LAAS) has been providing independent advocacy services across Argyll & Bute and neighbouring West Dunbartonshire since 2000. The organisation is firmly rooted in the communities it serves and has a track record of involving local people and harnessing their skills, expertise and enthusiasm. LAAS is committed to involving people who use our services at every level in the work of the organisation.
LAAS firmly believe that everyone in Scotland should be able to access the support they need to effectively self manage their condition and lead as healthy and independent a life as possible, no matter where they live.
Scott Rorison, Advocacy Manager shares with us how LAAS are making an impact:
“Access to social care and health services in Argyll & Bute is a perennial challenge for individuals managing long term conditions, who tell us that problems are acerbated by distance from specialist health services, and infrequent, expensive and time consuming local transport, often including ferry travel, making it hard to reach key services which are on the doorstep for some people in other parts of Scotland. We believe that the long-term conditions independent advocacy Project is helping to address this inequality by supporting to people with long term conditions to engage effectively with the services they need, no matter where they live.
Over the past two decades the value of independent advocacy in helping people to remain in control of their lives has been increasingly recognised. A range of legislative developments and good practice guidance has helped to ensure that some people, such as those with “a mental disorder” have a statutory right to access independent advocacy.
However, many, including those with long term conditions struggle to access the help they need to play a full part in the discussions and decisions which affect their lives. This project has addressed the gap in Argyll & Bute and is providing an opportunity to test and demonstrate the unique value of independent advocacy to people living with a long term condition. Although LAAS has been providing advocacy to some groups for almost eighteen years, our work has often tended to be focused on providing support at times of crisis. The long-term conditions project has sought to shift the focus to a more preventative approach, with advocacy being offered as an early intervention, helping individuals to anticipate and plan for future needs and be involved in decision making “from day one”.
We believe that early feedback from those who have used the project provides encouraging evidence of the impact of independent advocacy on helping people live healthier more independent. We also believe that the rich and interesting learning obtained through the project’s work may help inform the development of self management initiatives across Scotland.
One of the projects biggest impacts on self management is undoubtedly the impact it has had individuals who have used it.
This is demonstrated in by some of the comments we have received:
- “The Advocate has been very helpful since day one and it is very nice to know that she is on the end of the phone if I need help”.
- “I could not have coped without them. Big, big thank you!”
- “A superb service, cannot fault. Highly recommend”.
- “Thanks to your fab advocate for all the help and support”.
- “My advocate has been a Godsend! I am very happy with my new shower.”
Find out more about LAAS by visiting their website http://laas.org.uk/ (this link will take you away from our website).