Self-health: Successfully managing long-term conditions

Empowering people to manage long-term conditions – like asthma, diabetes, COPD and depression– is at the heart of an exciting new initiative we’re spearheading in the West Midlands. We’ve just completed the first six week programme with local people facing some complex and potentially debilitating long-term conditions, and already it’s getting great feedback!

 “At first I was not sure that it would be for me, but I went with an open mind on the first day. To my surprise I found it very helpful. By the second week I was already having some benefits, I put this down to the way it was run. Things were explained and time given so you could take on board what you were being told. I am very grateful.”  Participant (Thank you letter)

The Chronic Disease Management Programme is part of an initiative spearheaded by the Department of Health and draws on techniques developed by Stanford University, as well as our own expertise in social change and behavioural support.

For me, the programme is all about helping people manage their own health, in a way that’s right for them, by building their personal confidence, skills and knowledge. It’s really helping local people to take control of their conditions – rather than letting their conditions control them.

We’ve been overseeing the structured 2½ hour sessions in a range of community locations across Coventry, all run to tight guidelines endorsed by the Department of Health.

Trained co-ordinators, who have direct experience of living with long-term conditions, are helping tackle issues such as dealing with pain, fatigue, learning to relax, exercise and living healthily. The programme is also supporting people dealing with conditions including COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), stroke, high blood pressure and depression.

At the moment, we’re concentrating on the Coventry area and are now planning courses in Stoke-on-Trent from next month.

If you’d like to find out more about the programme, you can contact your local team on 0800 612 4580 or

Simon Dudman, Director of Health & Lifestyle Change –

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