Gentleman, scholar, acrobat, judge and Policy Lead for Self Management
Blythe Robertson is the policy lead for self management and health literacy at the Scottish Government. Blythe is a special guest judge for this year’s Self Management Awards. Below, he shares his thoughts on the links between self management and health literacy and what he is most looking forward to about judging.
I’ve spent a lot of time in recent months thinking about self management in relation to health literacy, as we work to produce the refreshed health literacy action plan for Scotland.
We need to build upon the skills that people have to grow their confidence, knowledge and understanding to interact with health and care. This is crucial to support people to live and die well on their own terms with the health conditions they have.
A consistent theme in all the meetings I’ve been having to explore what actions we should take in the next phase of work has been the need for human connection. Too often people are left to struggle with overwhelming information that they only partly understand. We need to make things easier. We also need to draw upon the community and the sources of support that keep people well to build better understanding.
So much of the work on self management has this idea at its core. That’s why it’s good to reflect upon some of the best examples of this each year through the Self Management Awards.
I’m sure this year’s process will shine a light on yet more excellence across Scotland. I look forward to the considered debate with my fellow judges about which of the outstanding projects will be worthy winners in each of the categories.
In 140 characters, what is self management to you?
“Let’s support people to take charge of their healthcare and maintain their independence for as long as possible”
What are you most looking forward to about being a judge for the Self Management Awards?
It’s always an inspiration to read about the sheer breadth of fantastic work that’s going on across Scotland. Picking a shortlist and winners will be quite a challenge.
Why do you think people should submit a nomination for the Self Management Awards this year?
It’s important to take time to recognise the excellent work that going on all around us. I know from attending previous awards ceremonies how much the recognition of a nomination can mean to those working away, often in relative isolation, on projects that are making a massive positive impact on people’s lives.
If your friends could describe you in three words, what would they be?
Gentleman, scholar, acrobat
What would be the soundtrack to your life right now?
Duke Ellington, Take the A-Train
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
I tend to cram a lot into each day, so the ability to slow down time, occasionally, would be handy.