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Understanding ‘what matters to you’ is central to personalised care. Choice plays a big factor in everyday life, and it should be no different when it comes to decisions about the care you receive for your physical or mental health.

The aim is to deliver better outcomes and experiences to you, by working alongside your doctor, nurse and healthcare professionals.

Supporting you to look after yourself improves your health and wellbeing outcomes. The term the NHS use to describe this is ‘supported self-management’.

What is supported self-management?

Supported self-management is part of the NHS commitment to make personalised care the norm.

We use the term ‘supported self-management’ to mean the ways that health and care services encourage, support and empower people to manage their ongoing physical and mental health conditions themselves.

Our vision is for everyone living with an ongoing health condition or conditions to be empowered to live well with their conditions.

Supported self-management is about supporting people to have choice and control over the way their care is planned and delivered. It means:

  • Proactively identifying people’s knowledge, skills and confidence in managing their own health and care (known by the NHS as ‘patient activation’).
  • Healthcare professionals tailor their approaches to working with people, based on their individual strengths, needs and preferences, as well as taking account of any inequalities and accessibility barriers, working in a personalised way based on what matters to the individual.
  • Ensuring approaches are put in place to help build their knowledge, skills and confidence.

These approaches include:

Health coaching – helping people gain and use the knowledge, skills and confidence to become active participants in their care so that they can reach their self-identified health and wellbeing goals.


Self-management education – any form of formal education or training for people with long-term conditions focused on helping them to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to manage their own health care effectively.


Peer support – a range of approaches through which people with similar long-term conditions or health experiences support each other to better understand the conditions and aid recovery or self-management. Peer support may be formal or informal: it can be delivered by trained peer support staff and volunteers, or through more informal, ad hoc support among peers with lived experience.

Imagine a world where you…

  • are seen within the context of your whole life, including your relationships and interests and health care professionals focus on ‘what matters’ to you
  • are valued as an active partner in conversations and decisions about your health and wellbeing. This means you are recognised as the expert in your own life, and conversations draw on the knowledge, skills and confidence that you bring.
  • are supported to find solutions, make plans and break down your health and care goals into manageable steps, not what professionals think those goals should be.
  • you are encouraged to access information and to develop skills to find out what is right for your condition and, most importantly, right for you.
  • you can access peer support from other people with a similar condition or health experiences and support each other to better understand the condition and aid recovery or self-management.
  • you can access support to self-manage in a variety of ways, including on a one-to-one basis, in pairs or in small groups. Support can be delivered in person, by telephone or online.
  • you are supported to potentially improve in a range of clinical outcome and physical wellbeing, e.g., blood pressure and behavioural outcomes such as improved diet or frequency of exercise and taking your medication.

Find help to support you to self-manage

Find out how we are ‘Supporting You’ with…

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