Solent NHS TrustHigh quality community and mental health services

You can help yourself

Published: 15/11/2016

This week is Self-Care Week and the theme this year is ‘Understanding Self-Care for Life’.

The aim is to help people understand what they can do to better look after their own health and that of their families through living as healthily as possible.

“Understanding self-care for life looks at the full spectrum of healthcare from minor illnesses such as coughs and colds, to long term conditions such as type two diabetes or heart disease”, Dr David Chilvers, GP and Chair of the Governing Body of Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group said.

“People practice self-care every day, this can be as simple as brushing our teeth and eating healthily to keeping a first aid box fully stocked just in case of a minor injury, or managing medication for long-term conditions.

“If we can help people to treat themselves, this will not only improve their own quality of life but it gives them confidence and greater control of their own health; this encourages healthy behaviours that help prevent ill health in the long-term.

“It will also relieve pressure on NHS services. We want to provide people with the tools, information and support to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.”

Each year, GPs handle around 57 million cases involving patients with minor ailments which costs the NHS £2billion. This also takes up, on average, an hour a day for every GP when they could be seeing patients who would benefit more from their time.

There are various actions you can take to look after yourselves - always keep your medicine cabinet fully stocked to ensure you are prepared for colds, headaches and other common ailments.

Visit your pharmacist or call the 24/7 NHS 111 for help or advice or attend your local NHS walk-in centre if you need treatment. Please only visit the emergency department if you have a life-threatening illness.

Research suggests that people often give up on self-care earlier than they need to, this can be for a number of reasons including a lack of confidence in understanding the normal progress of symptoms and the perceived severity and duration of symptoms as patients often need reassurance that nothing more serious is wrong.

If you would like to find out more about Self-Care and how you can look after yourself and your loved ones, visit the NHS Choices website at

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