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Ease winter pressures with self-care week, NHS England recommends

9 September 2015

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GP practices are being urged to prepare to get involved with self-care week, which aims to help people understand what they can do to better look after their own health and that of their family, in a bid to prepare early for winter pressures.

The aim for the week, which is from November 16 to 22, is for frontline staff to use it as a focus to increase people’s ability to self care and “improve their levels of health literacy”.

Specifically, the campaign is aimed at helping patients learn how they can safely treat minor ailments such as colds or fever, as well as how they can also live healthily and prevent avoidable but more serious problems with long terms conditions such as Type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

In response to the campaign, Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s national medical director for long-term conditions, said: “By supporting people to help themselves, we can not only improve quality of life for individuals but also use NHS services even more effectively, particularly with winter approaching when we all know our A&E services and GPs face huge demands.”

The advice includes reminding people to ensure their medicine cabinet is well stocked, they know where to get advice from their pharmacist on symptoms, smoking cessation, weight management and mental health.

The information pack, including fact sheets, leaflets, posters, web buttons and banners and a sample press release/article are available here