Opinions

COSMIC Voices can be heard

Written by: Margaret Somerville, Director of Advice and Support, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

The Voices Scotland programme has established itself as the gold standard of patient and carer involvement training.

In June this year Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil MSP, announced that: “we must do more to listen to, and promote, the voices of those we care for. We need the voices of our patients, those receiving care and their families, to be heard in a much clearer and stronger way”

We welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s call for stronger voices to define our health and social care services.  We acknowledge that it must be clearer and more effective and one that also promotes the self management agenda.

The Voices Scotland COSMIC programme supports the public, and health and social care staff in the third and statutory sectors, to champion self management and support people to have a clear strong voice to:

  • INFLUENCE policy effectively to promote self management
  • INFORM people about self management
  • INVOLVE people in the development of person-centred services

Involving the public in developing our public services is a key message which was highlighted within the Christie Commission’s report on the Future Delivery of Public Services. However in reality, often this involvement is at best sporadic and at worst tokenistic.

Health & Social Care Integration has provided an opportunity to address some of these issues.  At the same time it seeks to address the changing demographic profile of Scotland; with more people living with long term conditions for longer and them to be supported to be leading partners in their own health and wellbeing.

Self Management should not and cannot be seen as something people need to ‘just get on with’ but should be the result of a collaborative relationship between professional and people living with long term conditions and importantly services need to be in place to support this.

The COSMIC Programme has been encouraging people to become champions of their own self management but also to become advocates for it. By working with health and social care staff they can ensure the right services are in place to enable individuals to take more control but still feel supported at the same time.

We see the ALLIANCE as a significant partner in cascading COSMIC across their member organisations. The COSMIC Programme can help to galvanise the people of Scotland to become real advocates of self management. In turn, this can influence the transformational shift that is required to change the culture of a traditional patient-caregiver relationship to one of true partnership with the supporting services in place.

Resources to run COSMIC (Champions of Self Management) training are free to other organisations who want to adapt and use them to influence their own self management policy goals.  The Voices Scotland team are available to support organisations to do this through showcase events and individual support.

For more information contact the Voices Scotland Team at voicesscotland@chss.org.uk or phone 0131 225 6936

COSMIC Resources: Free flexible training tools to influence Self Management in Scotland

COSMIC Postcard

Voices page of CHSS website

Our member

Our Member

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland

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