News

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

European Antibiotics Awareness Day

11/20/2012

antibiotics1As part of European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18th November), the Self Care Forum welcomes the Health Protection Agency’s advice that everyone should think twice before they ask for antibiotics from their doctor for their cold and flu symptoms. Many people don’t realise just how long the symptoms of coughs, colds and sore throats can go on for which often means they stop self-treating sooner than is necessary and visit the doctor to request unneeded antibiotics.

In line with NICE guidelines, the length of time that illnesses last for on average is ear infection (4 days), sore throat (1 week), common cold (1½ weeks), sinusitis (2½ weeks), cough or bronchitis (3 weeks).

Dr Pete Smith, GP in Kingston-upon-Thames, speaking at the national Self Care Forum Self Care Conference said: “Antibiotics don’t work in the treatment of coughs, colds and sore throats and evidence shows that coughs last 3 weeks, and sore throats a week, no matter what we do. If we prescribe antibiotics people keep coming back for them resulting in ineffective treatments being prescribed.”

Gopa Mitra, PAGB and Self Care Forum Board member notes: “There is good evidence that people tend to give up self care and seek the advice of a doctor within typically a period of 4-7 days, which is often too early for GPs to tell if the symptoms are more serious.”

To view the Self Care Forum’s press release click here

Resources to support European Antibiotics Awareness Day can be found on the Department of Health website

People need to know they can self treat their coughs, colds and sore throats –antibiotics won’t help

11/18/2012

antibiotics1As part of European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18th November), the Self Care Forum welcomes the Health Protection Agency’s advice that everyone should think twice before they ask for antibiotics from their doctor for their cold and flu symptoms.  Many people don’t realise just how long the symptoms of coughs, colds and sore throats can go on for which often means they stop self-treating sooner than is necessary and visit the doctor to request unneeded antibiotics.

In line with NICE guidelines, the length of time that illnesses last for on average is ear infection (4 days), sore throat (1 week), common cold (1½ weeks), sinusitis (2½ weeks), cough or bronchitis (3 weeks).

Dr Pete Smith, GP in Kingston-upon-Thames, speaking at the national Self Care Forum Self Care Conference said: “Antibiotics don’t work in the treatment of coughs, colds and sore throats and evidence shows that coughs last 3 weeks, and sore throats a week, no matter what we do.  If we prescribe antibiotics people keep coming back for them resulting in ineffective treatments being prescribed.”

Gopa Mitra, PAGB and Self Care Forum Board member notes: “There is good evidence that people tend to give up self care and seek the advice of a doctor within typically a period of 4-7 days, which is often too early for GPs to tell if the symptoms are more serious.”

To view the Self Care Forum’s press release click here

Resources to support European Antibiotics Awareness Day can be found on the Department of Health website

Self Care Day 2012

11/13/2012

selfcaredayHaughton Thornley Patient Participation Group hosted Self Care Day on 13th November 2012 as part of Self Care Week.

Topics during the day included Stroke, Tameside Stroke Awareness Support Group, Arrhythmias, Summary Care Record and Patient Access to the GP Electronic Health Record.  Patients heard about Peter Wood, aged 83, and with access to his GP Electronic Health Records also got to become an Olympics Flame Carrier earlier this year and still runs up to 2 miles a few times a week!

You can watch from the day are now available to watch online on the Haughton Thornley Medical Centres website.

Over 2 million unnecessary A&E visits “wasted”

10/30/2012

Vast majority believe people should do more to self care for common complaints
With more than one out of every ten people admitting to have used A&E when they knew they didn’t need to, hospital doctors and nurses are asking the public to think twice before they dial 999 this winter.  A&E attendance from June 2011 to May 2012 was over 17. 6 million – so that’s a staggering 2,112,000 attendances that were “wasted”.

Dr Paul Stillman is a GP and a member of the National Self Care Forum: “We know that over the winter, the number of serious and life-threatening cases will increase if temperatures fall below 12 degrees Celsius.  That’s more people with breathing problems, strokes and heart-attacks.  What we don’t need at such a busy time, are people calling 999, turning up at A&E or going to their GP when they don’t need to be there.

“It’s not just A&E and 999 teams who feel the pressure over winter.  GPs and community nursing teams are a vital part of the care needed by people who return home after having suffering a life-threatening emergency.”

The Choose well campaign aims to educate and inform people about the different NHS services available to them.  A number of resources have been produced for the NHS Choose Well Winter Campaign. They include:

The leaflet ‘Winter health survival guide’ is also available to download.

For resources for Self Care Week 2012 please click here

Helping people to make healthy choices

08/09/2012

roy-lilleyWriting in his regular e-newsletter for nhsManagers.net (2nd August 2012), Roy Lilley comments on the value of educating people “about our bodies, how they work and what to do to keep them healthy.”

He sugguests that school might be a good place to start this and that it would be useful to teach children more about nutrition, cooking and keeping fit.

He concludes that in an age of NHS cut backs that:  “For most of us good health is simple; it is in the choices we make; how we live our lives and what we eat and drink. If only, in the tangled complexity of modern healthcare, there was an agency to help us make those choices, understand the options and know what to do for the best. What a money saving, life preserving, brilliant idea it would be; we could call it public health.”

To read Roy’s newsletter in full please click here

Our bodies, how they work and what to do to keep them healthy

08/02/2012

roy-lilleyWriting in his regular e-newsletter for nhsManagers.net (2nd August 2012), Roy Lilley comments on the value of educating people “about our bodies, how they work and what to do to keep them healthy.”

He sugguests that school might be a good place to start this and that it would be useful to teach children more about nutrition, cooking and keeping fit.

He concludes that in an age of NHS cut backs that:  “For most of us good health is simple; it is in the choices we make; how we live our lives and what we eat and drink. If only, in the tangled complexity of modern healthcare, there was an agency to help us make those choices, understand the options and know what to do for the best. What a money saving, life preserving, brilliant idea it would be; we could call it public health.”

To read Roy’s newsletter in full please click here

NHS Choose Well Summer Campaign

06/27/2012

The National Self Care Forum and the NHS are working together to promote self care for common health complaints over the summer, as part of the Choose Well campaign. The main messages for the campaign are:

  • Self care is the best option if you have a common summer health complaint
  • Your high street pharmacy can give you expert advice without an appointment

Read more in the press release and Q&A

A number of resources have been produced. They include:

The campaign will be launched the week of the 9 July and will run until 30 August.

For further information please speak to Cathy Stewart at cathy.stuart@northwest.nhs.uk

Former Number 10 Health Adviser talks about demonstrating the value of self care to the NHS

05/21/2012

corriganDirector of Strategy and Commissioning of the NHS London Strategic Health Authority, and former Number 10 health advisor, Paul Corrigan highlights the importance of demonstrating value to the NHS.

Writing in his blog “health matters” on 11 May 2012 he expresses the need to invest in patient health literacy to help people look after their own health which would, “as a consequence, add value to the NHS” by saving resources in the health system.

Whilst Mr Corrigan has no doubt that encouraging patients to look after their health is a good thing for them and the NHS, his point is that money has to be spent on interventions to educate people and so a concrete economic case therefore is needed.

In order to demonstrate the economic case for the self care intervention, the project has to show it has secured savings that would otherwise have been spent on care in the NHS. For example, self care intervention has avoided a visit to A&E or having to provide an emergency bed. These savings demonstrate value to the NHS and the money that would have otherwise been spent on the emergency bed will actually have to be saved according to Mr Corrigan, in order to provide the economic case and prove the intervention worked.

In his blog he says “in this way investment in a group of patients who would otherwise cost a lot of resource can demonstrate how it will save the NHS real resource”.

For the full article go to: http://www.pauldcorrigan.com/Blog/?p=1299

Quotes from the blog:

“Increasing the capacity of people who live chaotic lives to manage their own health is an enormous prize both for themselves and for the NHS as a whole.”

“Co-production of health care is a good thing for patients. It empowers them and gives them more influence over their health care.”

“Co-production of health care creates economic value in health care which will eliminate expensive costs that the NHS cannot afford.”

YOLO - You Only Live Once Team for Men's Health Week 2012

05/21/2012

MHFposterThe key note speaker for YOLO/ MHW 2012 launch event at Arsenal Emirates Stadium has been confirmed as Professor Huon Gray, a Consultant Cardiologist recently appointed National Clinical Directors (NCDs) by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

Due to extremely high demand, for the launch event invitation, Men’s Health Forum (MHF) have decided to expand venue capacity to accommodate as many requests as possible, so please feel free to bring a plus one, just make sure he or she also register here.

Please mark your calendars on May 23rd, Wednesday 9AM, the brand new MHF online shop will be live and you will be able to download for FREE YOLO/Men’s Health Week 2012 resources- posters and leaflets, OR take advantage of the several great promotional offers in support of YOLO campaign launch and order printed resources- posters, leaflets, and manuals at substantial discount or FREE. To avoid disappointment and beat the crowd, please make sure you place your order as soon as possible.

In the mean time, MHF value your support very much and would love to hear about the local events you are planning, the primary purpose of the new campaign website is to promote the local events around England and Wales, so please fill the attachment and send it back so MHF can promote on its new website, which should be live next week.

Self Care Forum's First Anniversary

05/10/2012

ministerCare Services Minister, Paul Burstow is “delighted” at the Forum’s achievements in its first year but recognises more work is required “We know that people who self care feel empowered and in control, so it is great that the Self Care Forum has achieved so much in its first year. There is more work for them to do and they are looking at continuing to develop information for patients on when it’s safe to self care, but on-line training for GPs and a practice guide to set up support for self care in practice are excellent achievements and pave the way to move from promoting self care to embedding it into everyday life”

The Pharmaceutical Journal highlighted the first anniversary where SCF Board Member, Gopa Mitra was quoted saying “”For self care to truly work, we have to revolutionise how we promote and encourage self care practice among healthcare professionals, the UK population and all through the NHS.”  http://www.pjonline.com/news/self_care_needs_better_promotion