News

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

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Self Care Week 2018 Awards

03/22/2019

The Self Care Forum is delighted to announce the awards for Self Care Week 2018, which was a remarkable year with more than 600 organisations and individuals participating.

Speaking about the awards, Self Care Forum co-chair Dr Selwyn Hodge, who has been on the judging panel since the awards began in 2015 said “each year it becomes more difficult to choose the award winners.

“Year on year the bar is raised by exemplary Self Care Week initiatives that are more creative, more innovative and more empowering.”

Self Care Forum Board Member, Dr Knut Schroeder, who is also on the judging panel said “It is heartening to know that so many organisations are realising the benefit of using Self Care Week as a vehicle to help improve people’s understanding of how to better look after their own physical health and mental wellbeing.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what’s in store for Self Care Week 2019.”

Julie Wood, NHS Clinical Commissioners’ Chief Executive added “we are delighted this year to partner with the Self Care Forum to support the hotly contested award for the CCG of the Year. Supporting and empowering people to self care is one of the core priorities for our members right across the country. It not only improves outcomes for individuals, but also helps to ensure that we can target our limited resources to where they will have most impact for patients and populations.  The quantity and quality of nominees in this category shows of the range of impressive work that CCGs are undertaking in their local areas to get the word out about the importance of self care. Big congratulations to Fylde Coast CCG  for winning the Self Care Week Outstanding CCG award, and well done to all the entrants in a very remarkable field.”

Awards

Winner – Bradford and Craven

Outstanding Clinical Commissioning Group – Flyde Coast CCG (Joint Self Care Forum/NHS Clinical Commissioners Award)

Innovator – Bath Spa University’s Students Union

Highly Commended – Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Children & Young People’s Health Services

Health Literacy Key to Reduce Demand on the NHS says Self Care Forum co-chair

03/20/2019

Dr Selwyn Hodge supports the recommendation made in a White Paper by the consumer healthcare association, PAGB calling for self care techniques to be core components of the health education curricula in England. Dr Hodge, a former teacher, Deputy Headmaster and campaigner for greater health literacy to be taught in schools said “the renewed focus on prevention and helping people to stay healthy, outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan should start to transform services and ensure they are fit for the future.  However, health literacy is key to reduce unnecessary demand on the NHS by empowering people with the information they need to self care appropriately.  We believe that the opportunity to ensure the youngest members of our society receive that information at school is a missed opportunity and urge the Government to look again at its draft guidance.”

The Guidance,the Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education Draft Statutory Guidance, was published in February 2019 after a short consultation.  The Self Care Forum submitted a response with recommendations that would mean children are given the knowledge and life-skills about their physical health and mental wellbeing they need to take them through life, as well as an understanding of how the NHS works and how it should be accessed.   Disappointingly, these recommendations were not included and the Guidance falls short of ensuring compulsory, standardised comprehensive health education is part of the school curriculum in England, indeed it is a missed opportunity.

If you would like to know more about the recommendations put forward by the Self Care Forum please email.

PAGB’s White Paper can be found here.

Self Care Week: 28 Million People Encouraged to Choose Self Care for Life

01/22/2019

95 of the 195 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) participated in Self Care Week in November 2018 encouraging their population of 28 million people to Choose Self Care for Life.

The evaluation of Self Care Week also found that more than 600 organisations and individuals used the initiative to promote their own brand of self care message with self care for self treatable conditions the most popular amongst local organisations.

Social media, twitter in particular, was the most common medium used during Self Care Week and showed the increasing diversity of participants communicating the value of self care to their audiences including libraries, gyms, parks, charities, therapists and pharmacists.

This year also saw an increase in local organisations such as CCGs, local authorities, local Healthwatch as well as family surgeries holding events and competitions to help the local population.

Talking about the success of Self Care Week 2018, the Self Care Forum’s co-chair Dr Selwyn Hodge said “we are delighted with the extent of engagement for Self Care Week which grows each year.  The outcome of this engagement serves to move us towards our goal of increasing levels of health literacy and supporting people to instinctively understand how to look after their own health and wellbeing, whilst at the same time recognising when they need to ask for help.”

Here are more details of the achievements of Self Care Week 2018.

Self Care: How councils are helping people look after themselves

12/06/2018

The Local Government Association has updated its 2016 self care guide “Helping people to look after themselves” with a publication “Councils helping people look after themselves” containing a series of self care case studies; several of these highlight how councils are collaborating with local agencies such as clinical commissioning groups, businesses, schools and charities to empower people to better look after their own physical health and mental wellbeing.  The Self Care Forum is delighted to see five exemplary case studies showcasing Self Care Week programmes, several of which are past winners of the Self Care Forum awards.

The publication begins with a statement on why self care is important:

Whatever the situation, there is one thing all people who self care have in common: they feel empowered and confident to take responsibility for their own health. Not only is this good for the individual, it is also important for the health and care system which is under more strain than ever.”

Self Care Summit Report: Creating Self Care Communities

12/03/2018

The country needs Self Care Communities if we are to make real progress on improving health outcomes and reducing health inequalities.

This was the recommendation of leading figures from the NHS, Royal Colleges, academia and patient groups at the first ever Self Care Summit last month.  The event, jointly organised by the Self Care Forum and the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), met to examine ways of accelerating self care in the population and help to secure the health of the nation in ten years.  A report of which is now available.

Self Care Communities are based on Marmot Cities which are designed to tackle health inequalities with a focus on indicators for life expectancy, wellbeing, employment, environment, child development and prevention and are already being developed.  Sir Michael Marmot, author of “fair society, healthy lives” and Professor of Epidemiology at University College London makes the point that improving people’s health should not just be the responsibility of the health system, “there is clear evidence when we look across countries that national policies make a difference and that much can be done in cities, towns and local areas. But policies and interventions must not be confined to the health care system; they need to address the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.”

Read more here.

Creating Self Care Communities Report

It's Self Care Week

11/12/2018

Self Care Week: Choose Self Care for Life

It’s Self Care Week and we are hoping to reach as many people as possible to raise awareness about how we can better look after our own physical health and mental wellbeing, and that of our family members.   It’s about choosing Self Care for Life by thinking about the small changes we can make to be more healthy;  whether it’s about choosing to take the stairs rather than the lift, starting the day with a healthy breakfast and deciding not to work through our lunch break.  It’s also about being able to self-treat short term conditions when they strike such as sore throats, coughs, colds and about safely managing long term conditions.  Self Care Week reminds us how we can incorporate more positive health behaviours in our life to help us live as healthily as possible.

Health Minister Steve Brine supports the Week:

“We all have a personal responsibility to look after our own health and Self Care Week is an opportunity to recognise the benefits that simple activities like walking, gardening and arts activities can bring in maintaining our wellbeing and keeping us active.

“Community pharmacists can also be key in preventing illness and where possible we should utilise their wealth of knowledge to treat minor ailments.”

NEW 'Student Health App' to support students and universities

05/31/2018

A newly re-designed app is now available to empower university students to take better care of their health. Providing relevant and reliable information on over 150 mental and physical health issues, the FREE ‘Student Health App’ (previously known as ‘ESC Student’) allows students to make informed decisions about their health and helps them flourish at university.

Go to the website for more information.

RCGP makes recommendations for greater self care, social prescribing and signposting!

05/17/2018

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) launched a report recently which reviews the 10 High Impact actions from NHS England’s Time for Care Programme.  The report recommends support for self care with 67% of GPs surveyed citing this as a means of helping to decrease GP workload.  The RCGP also calls on the government to both facilitate social prescribing for all practices and to launch public awareness campaigns to ensure public understanding of active signposting.  Read the report here.

Choose Self Care for Life in 2018

04/04/2018

The logos for Self Care Week 2018 are now available for organisations to start planning activities. Choose Self Care for Life is the strap line and organisations are being encouraged to use Self Care Week as a hook to help people choose self care for a healthier, happier life.  A communications document is available to help you start planning in addition to the best practice report from former Self Care Week Award winners in Bracknell Forest and in Yorkshire.

22 Million People Encouraged to Embrace Self Care for Life

04/04/2018

A review of Self Care Week found that more than 300 organisations participated in the awareness week in 2017, 78 of those were Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) with a combined reach of more than 22 million people, more than a third of the population in England.

The review also highlights findings from a survey of participants which found that self care for self-treatable conditions was the most popular message being communicated and signposting to the community pharmacist the second most favoured.  The survey also found that social media was the most chosen medium being used during Self Care Week.  For further details about the campaign and the diversity of organisations that supported it, read the full review.