About us

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Our Background

The Self Care Forum (SCF) was established in 2011 by a coalition of 30 individuals from key organisations in primary care and public health, including the Department of Health and Social Care with a focus on raising awareness about the benefits of self-care. Since the very beginning, our work has been driven by the voluntary commitment of enthusiasts and pioneers in the field of self-care. Marshalled initially by Gopa Mitra MBE (formerly of PAGB) and funded by industry. In 2016 we became an independent charity.

We are a leading world forum dedicated to raising awareness about self-care, and a key self-care organisation in the UK; recognised both nationally and internationally for our commitment and advocacy of self-care. We work with a wide range of stakeholders, including academic and research institutions, educators, industry partners, voluntary organisations and policy makers, to positively impact how self-care is articulated in policy and practice.

In 2011, we produced a manifesto: ‘Self Care: An Ethical Imperative’. The manifesto helped put self-care on the national agenda. NHS England accepted the message and published guidance on the treatment of minor conditions to curb prescriptions for over the counter (OTC) medicines and encourage people to seek help from pharmacists for symptom relief.

The NHS’s Five Year Forward View (2014) included a chapter on self-care. Subsequently, the NHS Long Term Plan in 2019 promoted self-care and the use of pharmacists to support optimising medication, suggesting that £200 million could be saved by reducing the prescribing of OTC medicine and other treatments of ‘limited value’.

Our Vision, Mission and Strategy Objectives

Our Vision

Our vision is to improve the health of the UK population by establishing self-care as the starting point for all personal health management, enabling organisations and individuals to have the skills and tools to engage in self-care, and supporting and promoting self-care well-being interventions to be part of standard care pathways.

The Self Care Forum is a charity that supports organisations to help their communities and service users understand better how to practice self-care and is the UK’s:

  • leading independent collator and promoter of best practice around self-care.
  • go-to place for evidence-based resources, current opinion and self-care interventions.
  • foremost campaigner for self-care.

Our Mission

Our mission is helping people take care of themselves.

Our Strategic Objectives

We will achieve our vision by:

  • Creating practical evidence-based resources for individuals, practitioners and organisations
  • Leading national self-care campaigns and influence national and international policy
  • Supporting the generation of robust research evidence around self-care and health literacy
  • Collaborating with partners to advocate for self-care in the context of the wider health economy

Our ethos and use of our material

The Self Care Forum provides support and encouragement to patient facing organisations such as the NHS, health charities, patient groups and the voluntary sector and others that might benefit from the materials and information that is available on the Self Care Forum website, in the newsletters and through our campaigns such as Self-Care Week.

The Self Care Forum’s aim is to further the reach of self-care and embed it into everyday life. We also hope to create a self care movement, an evolutionary shift towards people being more informed and empowered to look after their own health and their family’s health and to understand when to self care and when medical intervention is necessary.

A self-care movement involves self care champions who are committed to this ethos. At the Self Care Forum we hope that our materials will help champions to instigate self-care strategies within their own environments and with their own audiences, growing the movement and furthering the reach of self care.

All we ask in return for providing external links on the SCF website is the declaration that they meet the following criteria: abide by the Self Care Forum ethos and do not promote practices that are unrecognised by UK medical, nursing and allied professional bodies.

The Self Care Forum does not work jointly with outside organisations that are not part of the Self Care Forum Board. Throughout our site you will find links to external websites. Although we make every effort to ensure these links are accurate, up to date and relevant, the Self Care Forum cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.

If you come across any external links that don’t work, we would be grateful if you could report them via selfcare@selfcareforum.org.

Please note that external links from this website may include material of a political nature or support what could be perceived to be non-standard medical practice. It is not the intention of the Self Care Forum to promote such material/organisations. The Self Care Forum takes no responsibility for information contained on external links from this website. Views expressed by individuals or organisations on their own webpages or on external sites they link to are not, necessarily, supported by the Self Care Forum.