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NHS Trust urges local residents to take care of themselves

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging local residents to take care of themselves as part of National Self Care Week 2017.

Self care week is an annual awareness campaign that aims to raise awareness of how some common ailments do not require antibiotics, and that visiting a pharmacy for advice and treatment is often your best option.  

The campaign runs between 13 -19 November and this year’s theme focuses on ‘Embracing self care for life’.  Self care is simply about taking care of yourself. It means keeping fit, healthy and active, as well as knowing how to take medicines, treat minor ailments and knowing how and where to seek help when you need it. Being more health conscious and choosing healthy options will have a positive impact on physical health as well as mental wellbeing and self-esteem.

Nicola Gelling, Community Matron working in Sefton, said: “Self care is incredibly important and can help local NHS services during the busy winter months. One in four people who access A&E could have either self-treated or used another service such as their local pharmacy, doctor or walk-in centre for advice or treatment of minor injuries and ailments.”

“We want to encourage people to take control of their health, take care of minor ailments, manage more serious conditions and choose healthy options.  Prevention is a major part of delivering high quality health care and we want more people to be aware of the wide range of services available that will help them live longer and healthier lives.”

If you have a long-term condition such as diabetes, COPD, arthritis or asthma, self care is also about understanding your condition and how to live with it or manage it well. The focus is very much about what you can do, rather than what you can’t do.

Doctor’s appointments and visits to A&E rise at this time of year. One of the main causes is for cold and flu which can often be treated by having a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home. The essential items include paracetamol or aspirin, decongestants, antiseptic creams, indigestion remedies and a thermometer.  

Notes to Editors

As winter approaches, the message from Self Care Week includes reminding people to ensure their medicine cabinet is well stocked and how they can get help and advice on symptoms from their pharmacist.

There is also information about how people can take steps to prevent avoidable conditions such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and lung conditions such as COPD. It reminds them that information and advice is also available from their pharmacist to help them stop smoking, manage their weight and choose healthy options to protect their physical health and mental wellbeing. NHS Choices also has lots of helpful information.

Self Care for Life also advises on long term conditions, prompting patients to use their medications appropriately and staying as healthy as they can. They are also advised to seek further support from their GP or nurse on how to manage their condition, or to join a local support group.

The Self Care Forum has been running its annual awareness campaign since 2011, with the ethos being to further the reach of self care and have it embedded into everybody’s everyday life.

In the run up to Self Care Week, the Annual Self Care Conference is being staged on 11 November in London and is free to people working in healthcare and public health.  It will be a practical conference to help inform and inspire those working in the NHS and public health to support patients to look after their own health better and improve their health literacy.