The latest news from the Self Care Forum and its member organisations:

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Young Carer's App


Expert Self Care, producer of specialist self care apps, has launched its new health app to support young carers.  Working in collaboration with West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, local charities and young carers, the app is now available and free to download.  

Covid19 & Self Care: Important Survey


If you’re involved in the delivery of care, please help by completing our questionnaire.

The Self Care Forum and Imperial College London’s Self Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU) are inviting all professionals involved in the delivery of care, across all sectors, to participate and complete our short online questionnaire.

The Self Care Forum, in collaboration with SCARU, is conducting a major survey entitled: Changes in professionals’ attitudes to, and practice of, self care during the pandemic.

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the delivery of health and care services. Supported self care has revealed itself as the critical answer to tackling the pandemic. Professionals and the population alike have successfully adapted their expectations and practice to support this way of working. Yet little is known about this quantum change in professional attitudes and practice and its likely impact.

We are undertaking qualitative research to explore this further. We would appreciate your help and ask that you spare 5-10 minutes to complete this eSurvey.

Please feel free to disseminate study information and the link to your personal contacts of health and social care professionals. Ethical approvals are in place.

February's E-Newsletter Available


February’s e-newsletter is now available to view. Included are articles from our sponsor, award winning health app – Healthily, with information about its new back health hub. Read the highlights from November’s Self Care Week as well as the changes expected in health and social care, as described in the Health and Social Care White Paper.

If you would like to receive newsletters please subscribe here.

Healthily: Award-winning self care app launches new Back Pain Hub


When it comes to health, there is a lot of information out there. How do you know what’s right? Or right for you?

Healthily is the award-winning app that puts self care at the heart of healthcare. Designed by doctors, used by millions, Healthily helps you check your health, manage 100s of conditions, track your progress and much more.

Find out how Healthily can help you in this video.

Self care has never been more important. At a time when hospitals are overwhelmed, we all need to take extra steps to look after our physical and mental health. A Healthily survey found that 67% of GPs are urging people to take greater responsibility for their own health and relieve pressure on the NHS.

Self care is a powerful thing – it helps you and it helps the NHS. Healthily brings together everything you need to look after your health with confidence.

Goodbye, back pain. Hello, Back Pain Hub.

Let’s take one condition we can sometimes manage ourselves: back pain. Now that we’re spending more time at home, we often end up hunching over laptops or slumped on the sofa, and this can harm our backs. 

To help restore your back to its happy self, Healthily has launched a new Back Pain Hub. It’s designed by doctors to help you get better, faster. 

Here are 5 ways the Back Pain Hub could help you:

1. Take a self-assessment to see if the hub is for you, or if you need to see a doctor

2. Learn 15+ back-strengthening moves from a physio

3. Try 10 pain-easing relaxation exercises

4. Track the 6 habits of happy backs

5. Read 25 bite-sized articles on how to fix your back

Healthily brings you the tools you need to take care of yourself, wherever you are. Now, more than ever, we need to make time for self care.

Join the millions of people using Healthily to understand their health, take action and build better habits, step by step. 

Because the most important health provider you’ll ever meet is you.

Download Healthily today and try the Back Pain Hub, free.

New Self Care Innovation Award Now Open for Entries


The Self Care Forum is inviting applications of good practice and innovations in self care, personalised care, and social prescribing that have made a difference to individuals, groups, or organisations.

Who can apply?

This invitation is open to everyone, whether you are an individual, a community champion, an employer, GP practice, Local Authority, school, college, business, or services organisation (public, private, or charitable). For a guide, please see examples included in the application form below.

£500 bursary

The winner will receive a £500 bursary to spend on a self care related initiative and the top entries will be included on the Self Care Forum website to share best self care practice and excellence.  The winners will be announced during the UK’s National Self Care Week (15 – 22 November) as part of its launch and promotional activity.

Closing date for admissions: 31st July 2021.

Do get in touch if you have any queries about the Award on

New Self Care Week Logos


Available now

Practise Self Care for Life is the theme for this year’s Self Care Week which will happen from 15 November 2021.

The logos have now been uploaded to the Self Care Week resources page of the website with further resources to follow. If there is anything in particular you would like to help you with your activities please do get in touch via email Unfortunately, we aren’t able to help with funding but we may be able to offer support in other ways.

Review - 2020's Self Care Week


900+ organisations participated with a reach of millions in the UK

The Self Care Week Review of 2020’s activities reveals that more than 900 individuals and organisations took part in this UK-wide national event, helping it to reach millions of people in the UK. 

Numbers were slightly down compared to 2019’s Self Care Week however, this was expected given the national restrictions in place due to Covid19. Indeed, a Self Care Week survey found that the plans of more than half of respondents had been adversely affected as a result of social distancing limitations.

Chair of the Self Care Forum, Helen Donovan commented “despite the challenges 2020 brought for Self Care Week, I was delighted to learn that more than 900 NHS organisations, charities, pharmacies, therapists, libraries, local authorities, gyms, clubs, universities and schools once again promoted the benefits of self care to their audiences.  Yes, numbers were slightly down on last year, but given the restrictions and the uncertainty at the time, I would like to applaud all of those that found a way to participate in what is a fixed public health event in the calendar.”

Continuing with this sentiment, Self Care Forum President, Dr Pete Smith added “every year my admiration increases at the hard work and dedication that people and their local organisations put into Self Care Week activities. In 2020 it grew beyond measure. Undeterred by the challenges, we witnessed more innovation than ever across the country as self care for life became a necessity for everyone. The Self Care Forum is proud yet humbled to help people in achieving this.”

A few highlights from the Review are:

  • Self Care for Mental Wellbeing was the top self care message
  • Social media, particularly twitter, was the favoured medium
  • Self Care Forum Fact Sheets the most popular resource used with 1316 page views during the Week.

Also revealed by the Self Care Week survey, was that around 60 per cent of respondents did not know the Self Care Forum is a charity.  Indeed, more than 20 per cent believe the charity to be part of the NHS.  This isn’t the case.  As a charity, the Self Care Forum relies on sponsorship and donations to continue to champion self care and provide free resources on a wide range of self care issues to people-facing organisations.  As such we would like to thank our four sponsors for their support.

Announcement: Self Care Awards


Self Care Week is a perfect time to announce the winner and highly commended of our Self Care Coronavirus Innovation Awards as a way of celebrating the inspiring and empowering work taking place in communities across the country, work that is making a difference to people’s lives at a time when they need it most.

We received 43 inspiring and diverse entries, every one of them worthy winners.  Every single one holds strands of learning and best practice which other places can emulate and use to encourage their populations to take affirmative action on self care.

Which is why we are also making their entries available as case studies so that others can learn from their best practice and benefit more people in the population. Below are the eight shortlisted entries and include the winner and four highly commended:


Sutton Women’s Centre shone through for its incredible empowerment of vulnerable families during lockdown. As well as providing a safe haven, the Centre’s Freedom Programme gives women who have experienced, or are experiencing domestic abuse vital tools to reach their full potential and lift themselves out of their challenging situations.

Case study – Sutton Women’s Centre

4 Highly commended

Fresh Minds Education and Northern Health and Social Care Trust were recognised because of their “workshop in a box” developed to empower young people aged 14 and over, a group whose needs are often overlooked.  The workshop was based around five steps to wellbeing and delivered to vulnerable young people. Judges also felt that because young people co-created the initiative, it made it all the more powerful.

Case study – Fresh Minds Education

Age UK Lewisham and Southwark’s Safe and Independent Living team initiative was highly commended because it rapidly mobilised community support for its diverse elderly population during the lockdown. Helping 2000 vulnerable and hard to reach people aged 68 and over with prescription collections, food shopping, telephone befriending and by circulating specially designed, chair-based exercise activity packs to help keep people moving.

Case study – Age UK Lewisham and Southwark

Cardiac Rehabilitation Team, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Eastern Academic Health Sciences Network and Aseptika Limited’s use of technology to support people with cardiac problems during the lockdown led to the initiative being highly commended. Their cardiac rehabilitation services were converted from face-to-face to a technologically enhanced online service monitoring patient’s physical signs at home via an app which also included a process for encouraging patient activation.

Case study – Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge University Hospital, EAHSN and Aseptika Ltd

Kingston GPs and The Sound Doctor impressed judges by delivering self care support at scale.  It introduced a CCG-wide suite of empowering self care videos (Sound Doctor) for patients during lockdown, and included a comprehensive new Qismet accredited online diabetes course.

Case study – Kingston GPs and The Sound Doctor

Next Best Entries

Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group was one of the top eight entries because of its support and empowerment of vulnerable self isolating and shielding patients to self care. Quickly adapting services from face-to-face to online access with excellent use of technology to continue with healthy lifestyle sessions.

Case study – Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Wharfedale, Airedale & Craven GP Alliance also narrowly missed out on being highly commended with its wide comprehensive COVID19 response which included webinars, podcasts and videos to encourage good self care. Medical students were also tasked with providing welfare calls for the over 70s. There was clearly wide collaboration with local partners supporting 73000 patients.

Case study – Wharfdale, Airedale and Craven GP Alliance

Community Development & Health Network (CDHN) and Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) was another of the top eight. The entry stood out because of its collaboration with community groups who mobilised quickly to organise a prescription delivery service with community pharmacists. The project covered more than half of community pharmacists in Northern Ireland.

Case study – CDHN and MEAAP

For more information contact

Silver Sponsor: Self Care App Healthily


Silver Sponsor of Self Care Week 2020

Helping us raise awareness of Self Care Week this year is our new silver sponsor, Healthily. Designed by doctors, used by millions, Healthily is the free, award-winning self care app that helps you look after you every day.

As proud partners of the Self Care Forum, Healthily believes self care can change lives. Healthily gives you the tools you need to understand your health and take the next step – whether that’s seeing a doctor, managing an issue yourself, or making small changes to feel better every day.

Take the best steps for your health by downloading the app today. Get it free.

HARTMANN UKI Launches ‘HOME’ Shared Care Initiative


Supported self-management, i.e. shared care, is one of the six evidence-based components of personalised care to which the NHS has committed (NHS England 2019). Shared care is a key driver for the NHS and is part of the NHS long term plan, encouraging people to take a more active role in their health and well-being, particularly in chronic disease management​.

Wound care is no exception and we can engage with individuals developing partnerships, sharing the care of their wounds and most importantly empowering patients with the tools and confidence to optimise their ability to heal.​

At HARTMANN, we recognise the importance of supporting the health service in providing effective, evidenced based wound management solutions for healthcare professionals. ​​

To develop a positive, shared care partnership in practice, HARTMANN UKI has launched a new initiative – HOME – aimed at helping healthcare professionals introduce and manage shared care solutions to patients at home.

HOME (Holistic, Outline, Manage, Evaluate/Educate) is a complete package aimed at supporting the NHS achieve its long-term plan of encouraging patients to take a more active role in their health and well-being. HOME provides all the support, training and tools needed to create true partnerships with patients on wound care.

Dawn Stevens, Clinical Development Manager at HARTMANN UKI explains, “Shared care is a key driver for the NHS. Encouraging and involving people to self-manage their wound care is increasingly crucial. In order for this to happen, patients need the right tools, information and support to optimise a wounds ability to heal. We therefore developed the concept of HOME to support healthcare professionals and ease the transition into greater shared care.

In a post-Covid world, it is thought that a positive, shared care partnership, will be pivotal to a successful healthcare service moving forward. Not only does it put greater emphasis on the individuals’ participation and therefore the potential success of wound care management, but it could also free up valuable nursing time. Our role is to help facilitate this and support health care professionals in building confidence and ability amongst patients to take this holistic approach.”

Our HOME package helps support the identification, assessment and implementation of wound care partnerships in practice. It includes patient postcards, patient friendly care plans, journals, pathways and a dedicated website to share information.

For further information and updates, please visit