Case Studies

Networking for Change April 2017: “A New Normal”

Section: Self Management and Co-Production HubType: Case Study
New normal promotional image

Summary of the Self Management Network Scotland Networking for Change event held in Glasgow on Thursday 27th April 2017.

The aims of the most recent Self Management Network Scotland networking event were to work together to answer the following questions:

  • How do we effectively share knowledge within the Self Management Network Scotland?
  • How do we use the knowledge within the Self Management Network Scotland to make change happen?

Self Management Network Scotland

Up on the ninth floor of theStudio in Glasgow, it was announced that the Self Management Network Scotland has reached the dizzying heights of 500 members. More than ever, it is important to explore effective ways of networking with one another and to use the power of our members to spread the message about self management.

Programme Manager, Sara Redmond showed a video highlighting network activities to date, setting the scene for a day of planning for the future.

On the day

A total of 91 people registered and, on the day, 66 people attended the event.
13 people were interested in delivering a 5-minute update. 11 people delivered an update at the event.
There were detailed discussions about how to describe self management in the Exploring Self Management workshop and several different definitions produced.

Blythe Robertson, Healthcare Quality and Improvement at the Scottish Government, assisted with the delivery of the Networking for Change workshop and shared information with attendees about the refresh of the Health Literacy Action Plan.

46 attendees specified an action they will carry out following the event.

Self Management Network Scotland member’s update

Rather than choosing speakers for you at the event, we invited all attendees to register their interest in providing a short update at the event. During the morning session, 11 people provided a five minute update on their self management work and their experience of networking and sharing the message of self management.

The title of this post is taken from Yennie van Oostende’s update on the work of the Self Management and Long Term Conditions Health Improvement team at NHS Highland. They have used the Pain Toolkit to open discussions with people about self management and to improve services for people living with chronic pain. Feedback has been that people no longer feel so alone; and that it’s not weak to admit having a long term condition, with one participant saying “I have a new normal which is my normal.”

Graffiti wall

During the refreshment break and lunch break, we asked attendees to think about:

Their experience of the Self Management Network Scotland
Their hopes for the future of the Self Management Network Scotland
Materials were provided and attendees were asked to add their thoughts to the “graffiti walls.”

Experiences people shared about the network were:

“Excellent opportunities for networking and learning from others”

“Very interesting to hear about all the self management projects going on around the country!”
Looking to the future, attendees hoped:

“Local libraries as self management hubs”

“More service users experience”
Some people shared musings about self management and their inspiration:

“Self management is not waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain”

“Self management helps you rule the waves”

We even discovered a few creative attendees who added drawings of a sign post, a boat and a rainbow!

Exploring self management workshop

One of the aims of this event was to explore how the collective knowledge of members of the Self Management Network Scotland can be used to make change happen. For change to take place, we need more people to understand and talk about self management. It needs to become the norm for the delivery of health and social care services. Success will look like a partnership approach being taken across health and social care where people living with long term conditions, and unpaid carers, are equal and active partners in their own health.

We asked attendees to share their definitions of self management

“Working in partnership with health professionals to help me to improve my knowledge of opportunities and skills that will help me to improve my self care that I can implement to improve my quality of life to better live with and cope with multiple long term conditions and getting the most out of my life.”

“Working together as partners with healthcare professionals and others to help manage my conditions and understand what works for me and matters to me. Not one size fits all.”

“Being able to live a valued life with the support of the community around you.”

“It’s about helping yourself lead the life you want to lead in collaboration with others.”

“Taking control, being self aware and in control of my condition with support. Building a support network: knowledge, services, family, friends, adaptations, health team. Plan and prepare for setbacks.”

“Getting health and support to be able to do the things you need or want to do in your life.”

“Having the tools to live one’s life the way one wishes.”

We also asked attendees to share examples and tips of ways they have explored the concept of self management with people.

“It can be helpful to use comparisons to how life was before and how life is now. Or describe the opposite of self management.”

“Analogies can be helpful such as workplace coaching and describing self management as a backpack full of things you need that are always behind you.”

“Letting people know there is something they can do themselves and feel a sense of ownership is simple and effective.”


1. We gathered a wide variety of up to date definitions of self management which cover many different areas of experience.
2. We discussed how to spread the message of self management to people with others who have done this successfully. Ideas can be utilised in future Self Management Network Scotland activities.

Networking for change workshop

The second aim of this event was to explore how the 500 members of the Self Management Network Scotland can communicate effectively with one another. It has always been an important aspect of our work for the network team to be led by communication activities that members already use and already find effective.

  • We asked attendees to brainstorm ideas for networking activities.
    Presentations at team meetings
    Library services network
    Find a local network champion
    Accreditation of organisations to enable them to contact people outside of their area
    Local self management network meetings
    Patient group
    Identify missing sectors, e.g. education
    Social media

We then asked attendees to work out how one of these ideas would look in practice. Some of the ideas explored in details were:

Having champions for sub-groups of interest and specialist focus, for example, health literacy.
Small/ locally based organisations with national interests sometimes report difficulties networking and influencing outside of their immediate geographical area. Attendees suggested some kind of accreditation or recognition from the network that would help them make these connections.
List of attendees at Self Management Network Scotland meetings and local meetings. Makes it easier for networking. Identify local area or national.


The idea of ‘champions’ within the Self Management Network Scotland was popular and we will develop a plan for this.
Explore possibilities of providing some sort of “accreditation” for smaller organisations. (This will not be in the form of a rubber stamp from the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland but we will work to develop ways to forge and strengthen links between local community organisations and statutory services.)
At future events, people registering will have the opportunity to give their consent for their contact details to be shared with other attendees.
Many of the ideas generated in this workshop were activities for promoting the network and finding new members. We will explore these opportunities as we continue to grow the Self Management Network Scotland.

List of actions

In the final session of the day, attendees were asked to list at least one action they will carry out following the event and to list any actions they thought the Self Management Network Scotland team should carry out.

Attendees received an email reminding them of their action two weeks after the event and will receive a follow up email in eight weeks to find out about their progress.

We will be working through this list to carry out the actions suggested. Look out for further communications from the Self Management Network Scotland and on our blog to track our progress.

What next?

The Self Management Network Scotland team have a development day planned in May 2017 where we will discuss your suggested actions and networking activities. Look out for future Self Management Network Scotland updates where you can track our progress and find out about future events.



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