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NHS reminds people to embrace self-care

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The NHS in West Lancashire is reminding residents to self-care this Self Care Week.

Self Care Week 2017 runs from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 November 2017, this national awareness campaign, which is organised by the Self Care Forum, aims to promote and embed self-care across communities, families and generations.

Many minor ailments and conditions can easily be managed at home by simply visiting a local pharmacy and keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet, and NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding residents what they can do themselves, therefore avoiding any unnecessary trips to their GP or to the A&E department.

Dr John Caine, a local GP and chair at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said:

“We are reminding residents that they can avoid unnecessary visits to their GP or to the A&E department through self-care. We know that people want to be able to manage their own conditions, but what many people are unaware of is that by simply visiting their local pharmacist and having a well-stocked medicine cabinet, many conditions can be managed at home.

“We want to empower patients and carers so that they feel confident enough to know what they can manage themselves and what needs to be looked at by their GP.”

In September NHS West Lancashire CCG launched its new self-care programme, ‘Saving Money is Saving Lives’. The programme aimed to empower residents to know what conditions could be managed at home or by visiting their local pharmacist and provided them with the resources to help manage these conditions. Materials including informative leaflets and posters provide more information on self-care and what patients can do and are readily available from all GP practices and pharmacies across the region.

Dr Caine continued:

“As well as visiting your local pharmacy and keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet, there are other things that we can all do to help ourselves.

“Move more! If going to the gym isn’t for you, try walking part of the way to work or taking the stairs.

“Stop smoking!  One of the best things you can do for your health is to stop smoking.  Ask your local pharmacist about stop smoking services.

“Sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential to good physical and mental health so don’t burn the candle at both ends, make sure you get at least seven hours sleep a night!”

Residents can learn more about self-care including what medicines, products and conditions fall under the new programme, by visiting the NHS West Lancashire CCG website: www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk or by speaking to their local pharmacist or GP.

To learn more about Self Care Week, please visit the Self Care Forum’s website: www.selfcareforum.org

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