The Self Care Forum is proud to have partnered with award-winning health app specialist Expert Self Care (ESc) and others to develop a new app which helps people navigate the extensive information that’s available about COVID19.
The ‘Coronavirus Support App (UK)’, which is free to download and available for both android and Apple devices, has been created by ESc to offer people in the UK easy quick access to evidence-informed information about coronavirus and COVID-19 all in one place.
It signposts to reliable, trusted sources of information and answers key questions like who is at risk, what the symptoms are and how to stay healthy by practising self care; and offers advice for a range of situations, including for anyone feeling anxious, at risk of domestic violence and abuse, or in need of medical treatment.
ESc is led by Dr Knut Schroeder, a practising GP, Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol and CE of the Self Care Forum said “In the current crisis, reliable information is more important than ever. We designed this app to bring together all the best sources of information on coronavirus. False information leads to rumours and myths that can hamper public health efforts, which may result in preventable disease and deaths.
“We haven’t received any external funding for this app and it’s available to download for free, so we are grateful to the team of volunteers who have made this app possible. They have been amazing during a very difficult time for everyone.”
Local NHS organisations are able to customise the app free of charge by adding helpful links for their local population and are invited to get in touch with the App Production Lead for further information.
Sandwell and Birmingham CCG, which serves a particularly deprived population in England, potentially saved 1,925 GP appointments for minor ailments as part of its activities during National Self Care Week last year. Compared to the previous year, the CCG saved around £300,000 prescribing costs on medication that can be bought over the counter.
It’s achievements helped to crown it the Outstanding CCG for Self Care Week 2019, jointly awarded by the Self Care Forum and NHS Clinical Commissioners. Its aim for Self Care Week was to help empower people in the population, support local clinicians to reduce prescribing levels of OTC medicines and so decrease GP appointments for minor conditions.
The CCG’s Medicines Quality Pharmacy Team led the programme, devising and implementing a huge range of innovative activities to engage its diverse community and so increase levels of self care in the local population.
The Team encouraged and supported surgeries to get involved, tailored messages to specific groups in the area engaging children, young people, worshippers, shoppers and fitness fanatics to name but a few.
You too can implement a similar programme using this case study by the CCG which reveals how it was done and how it overcame the barriers to help achieve its aims.
The Self Care
Forum is inviting organisations to sponsor Self Care Week 2020 with an
exclusive Gold package in addition to attractive Silver and Bronze packages.
Below is a taster of what’s on offer via the packages:
self care tweets sent to 6370 followers
placement on the Self Care Forum website, e-newsletters, posters,
factsheets and twitter
to engage with Self Care Forum Trustees in an “Ask the expert” style
your blog on the website and shared via twitter and the e-newsletter
with NHS England and Public Health England in a Twitterchat
Whilst the Gold package is exclusive, the Silver will be
limited to two sponsors and the Bronze will have a maximum of three sponsors,
so opportunities are on a first come, first served basis. Further information,
including a comprehensive list of what’s on offer as well as reasons for
supporting Self Care Week and the Self Care Forum, is available here.
Every year the Self Care Forum awards prizes and commendations for exemplary self care innovation during Self Care Week. This year we will also celebrate good self care practice for coronavirus initiatives. Winners will be given a £500 bursary and highlighted as a true innovator at a time when we need to find inspirational ways to support and protect people against one of the deadliest viruses this country has faced in decades.
If you have implemented an inititive that has made a difference to individuals and the local community then we would like to hear from you.
This invitation is open to everyone, whether you are an individual, a community champion, an employer, GP practice, Local Authority, or services organisation (public, private, or charitable). Closing date for admissions is 31st July 2020.
A report by the IPPR, a progressive policy think tank, has recommended Government invests in the capacity for schools to deliver health education as a core part of the school curriculum.
The Self Care Forum is wholly supportive of this and has been advocating for comprehensive health education to be taught in schools. We believe it should be compulsory to ensure schoolchildren are fully health literate and equipped with the knowledge needed to help them make positive decisions about their health and wellbeing as they grow into adults. And to understand when it’s necessary to seek intervention.
The IPPR report, entitled “Prevention in the age of information: Public education for better health” estimates that over half of the disease burden in England is preventable, with one in five deaths attributed to causes that could have been avoided and is calling on government to prioritise prevention.
The Self Care Forum is convinced that comprehensive health education in schools will help address this disease burden in future generations.
A survey by YouGov and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reports that more than 300,000 smokers in the UK may have quit as evidence suggests smoking makes people more vulnerable to COVID-19. A further 550,000 have tried to quit, while 2.4 million have cut down.
Dr Nick Hopkinson, the chairman of ASH and respiratory specialist at Imperial College London, said: “Smoking harms the immune system and our ability to fight off infections. Evidence is growing that smoking is associated with worse outcomes in those admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Quitting smoking also rapidly reduces people’s risk of other health problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Those are bad whenever they happen, so preventing them is an end in itself and is especially important at a time like now when everyone is keen to stay out of hospital.”
The Self Care Forum is currently crowdfunding to develop a series of fast-tracked self care aware Factsheets to help people understand how to avoid contracting coronavirus and what to do should they or their family members show signs or symptoms of the virus.
around COVID-19 has created an immediate need to equip the population and
health professionals with reliable knowledge and awareness about this new virus.
Self Care Forum is looking to develop ten self care aware Factsheets that can
be used across the health and care system.
The Factsheets will be evidence-based and peer-reviewed in line with our current suite of Factsheets which are a popular and valuable resource for health and care professionals to support the practice. They are also used independently for self care by the general public. They are succinct (no more than two sides) and easily accessible.
We would love to hear from you if you would find such Factsheets useful and would like to receive these once they are available or if you would like to donate towards producing this material. Please email.
pharmacist, Ade Williams from Bedminster Pharmacy, has joined the Self Care
which is a healthy living pharmacy, has won an impressive number of awards for
its role in supporting the health of the local community with Ade receiving the
UK Community Pharmacist of The Year Award in 2017.
about his appointment to the board Ade said “I have been following the
excellent work of the Self Care Forum for some years and as a new board member
I am excited to start exploring how we can further progress the charity’s
mission and make self care everyone’s everyday habit and culture.”
Forum chair, Helen Donovan added “Ade, with his rich knowledge of community and
public health and his passion for helping people help themselves, will be a
real asset to the Self Care Forum.”
Knut Schroeder, who is a GP in Bristol and who knows Ade personally said “Ade’s
infectious enthusiasm for finding ways of supporting people is inspiring; he
and his pharmacy team do such invaluable work in the local community and we are
delighted to have his talent on our Board.”
The Self Care Forum is delighted to announce the awards for Self Care
Week 2019, which was another remarkable year with more than 1000 organisations
and individuals participating.
Self Care Forum Trustee Rhian Last, who was on the judging panel for the
awards this year said “I was privileged to be invited to judge these
prestigious awards which recognises the hard work and dedication of localities
in their endeavours to support people to better look after their own health.”
Also new to the judging panel was Self Care Forum Trustee, Dr Michelle
Howarth from Salford University, “judging these awards opened my eyes to the
wonderfully collaborative nature of many local Self Care Week initiatives. It
was heartening to see that Self Care Week continues to galvanise local people,
who come together for a shared goal, to empower their local population to live
their best self care life.”
NHS Clinical Commissioners’ Chief Executive said “we are delighted to partner
again 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. The quality of nominees
once again shows the range of impressive and important work that CCGs are
undertaking in their local areas to get the word out about the importance of
Self Care Forum Chair Helen Donovan added “it is encouraging each year
to see the rich diversity of organisations using Self Care Week as a vehicle to
increase people’s knowledge and understanding of how to take care of their own
health and their family’s health.
Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all participants for
supporting this initiative each year.”
Self Care Week Awards
Winner – Lancashire Libraries, Lancashire County Council
Outstanding Clinical Commissioning Group – Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG (Joint Self Care Forum/NHS Clinical Commissioners Award)
Innovation – Manchester Local Care Organisation/North Manchester Self -Care Forum
By Helen Donovan, Self Care Forum Chair, Royal College of Nursing’s Professional Lead for Public Health and the James Bond of coronavirus
Don’t panic – it’s just more information on coronavirus! Hard not
to quell the rising fear when faced with front page news, running television
commentary, masks on public transport, hand gel being brandished like weapons,
‘the Wuhan shake’ in place of a hand shake making us all look as if we are
doing a strange chicken dance. Has the
world gone mad with overreaction and the reality is that it is “no worse than
flu” (which let’s face it can be rather grim) or is this a mass conspiracy
theory where information and misinformation need spy level training?
What can you do and how can you look after yourself and those you
love? Think of me as the James Bond of coronavirus if you will?
This useful infographic from the BBC gives simple self care steps for protecting yourself and what to do should you feel ill or think you are at risk.