News

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

Subscribe to the Self Care Forum e-newsletter for updates, resources, ideas and news about the latest self care activities. 

NHS Constitution consultation

02/07/2013

NHS-ConstitutionA public consultation to strengthen the NHS Constitution was announced in November 2012.  The constitution, which was originally published in 2009, set out people’s rights and responsibilities for entitlement to NHS Care.

Profession Steve Field heads a team of health experts working on the consultation and approached the Self Care Forum to make a submission.

This was made recently, with the focus on responsibilities and the provisions for encouraging greater individual responsibility.

The main points made in the consultation response are:

  • shared decision-making as the way forward in engendering patient-centred approaches throughout the system, from the first contact to the last
  • there is the need for health literacy to be built into all interactions with patients and the public with the necessary education and training put in place to help in this process.
  • there should be support for self care, health literacy, and health education in schools, and for cross-Government links between the Department of Health and the Department for Education, as well as reference to the responsibility of Local Authorities to have regard to the NHS Constitution
  • there is the need to add the meaning of responsibility for health and self care. There is sometimes a misunderstanding about what we mean by ‘self care’ which should be addressed since there is a significant and growing acceptance of its importance for individuals and organisations alike.

To download a full copy of the response please click here.  Responses to the consultation will be fed into a revised version of the NHS Constitution, which is expected in April 2013.

Practice Nurse articles on self care

01/31/2013

Practice Nurse has published a series of articles about self care for minor ailments.  These were written by Self Care Forum Board members and topics include indigestion, nasal congestion, constipation and headache / migraine.

These can be found on the Articles page

Practice Business article published

01/24/2013

hands-coloursJo Wady, Practice Manager from St Lawrence Surgery in Worthing spoke to Practice Business about the surgery’s self care mission: “The Self Care Forum has said that 20% of patients go to GPs for minor ailments – the top ones being back pain, sore throats, chest infections, eczema, that sort of thing – when actually they can look after themselves at home.

“We think if we can try to manage the demand in Worthing it will help the ever-increasing demands on GP practices and hopefully this will have a knock-on effect and reduce the number of A%E attendances – and maybe even emergency admissions.”

To read the article in full please click here (published courtesy of Practice Business)

Dr Steve Boorman Awarded CBE

01/10/2013

Dr-Steve-BoormanSelf Care Forum Board Member, Dr Steve Boorman, has been appointed a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Like all Board Members, Steve is a great advocate of self care and was awarded the honour for his work in the field of occupational health.  He revolutionised occupational health practices in the NHS and Royal Mail, and led a ministerial review into NHS staff health and well-being.

Talking about the honour, Steve said “It is humbling to know that I have been recognised, but it’s also a testament to the teams I have worked with.”

Steve also spoke about his work on the Self Care Forum Board, “I have enjoyed supporting the self care forum, which is a great example of professionals from a wide range of disciplines working as a team to highlight the opportunities afforded by better awareness of self care”

Self Care Week Review 2012

01/10/2013

SelfCareWeekbannerOn behalf of the organisers of Self Care Week we would like to thank everyone who participated in SCW 2012.  Without your help our aim to have everyone self care for a healthier, happier life would not be possible.  Hopefully, we are one step closer to forwarding the reach of self care and having it embedded into everyday life.

Each year there is growing interest and enthusiasm for progressing self care with more and more organisations getting involved in the campaign to highlight the benefits of self care to their population.  Here is a review of some of the activities that took place during the campaign.

If you have any comments on the review or the Campaign do contact libby.whittaker@selfcareforum.org.  Additionally, if you would like to be added to the mailing list for news of the next campaign, which will take place from 18 – 24 November 2013, again please contact libby.whittaker@selfcareforum.org

Medicine Cabinet Poster

12/21/2012

MedChestPosterAsk your patients to give their medicine cabinet a makeover.

Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home means there’s no need for people to delay in starting to relieve the symptoms of minor conditions, especially out-of-hours.

You can download and print-off the poster below which explains what a well-stocked medicine cabinet should contain:

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