Self-care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when to go to a pharmacist and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional. If you have long-term conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.
A sample of what people told us
"Need to improve self-help and self-management as a step before GP access. This would reduce pressure on surgeries"
"Focus on ways of working that reduces demand and promote self-care"
"I personally feel frustration that many of today’s illnesses can be prevented by self-management of lifestyle, weight, smoking and people who don’t do that cost the NHS large sums of money and prevent those who do follow a healthy lifestyle from being able to access services quickly"
"Patients need to be made aware that not all things require a doctor. A lot of appointments are wasted due to patient not going to the correct place to get help - pharmacy/dentist/self-help. There is a lot of self-help out there and patients need to be made aware what is appropriate and what isn’t especially with self-limiting issues"
"District nursing should be developed to incorporate long term conditionmanagement and supporting self-care
I like the idea of self-care and personal responsibility in all areas of health care. Patient education in groups and during consultations with health care professionals with encouragement to the patient to become expert in managing their own care"
"Start work early with children so they have a self-care mentality through life"
"More prevention and self-care advice in one place which is easy to use"
What we know
- Prevention is better than cure
- Our clinical and professional time with patients is short – it is our patients that spend the most time managing their conditions and we need to equip them with the knowledge, skills and resources to do this effectively and safely
- There are a wealth of resources and assets in our communities and across our partners that can support people to live well for longer
- Our workforce are our greatest asset and need to be supported effectively
What we are trying to achieve
A better connected health and care system that makes the most of the assets in our communities thinks prevention first and supports people to live well, for longer, accessing care when they need it.
- Strengthening our partnership working with Public Health to promote healthy lifestyles
- Develop a social prescribing offer with the Local Authority that addresses the social issues of poor health. Social prescribing is a way of enabling healthcare professionals to refer people to community services that offer support
- Help people understand where they can access services and help when they need it, including making better use of our community and voluntary sector
- Ensuring prevention, self-care and digital approaches are built into all our pathways and work programmes, but not abandoning the digitally isolated
What we have done so far
We have worked with community groups to deliver diabetes education events in local areas, after which 82% of people who attended said they felt more informed. Through offering a wide range of engagement activities, we maximised the opportunities for involving all of our population, reducing health inequalities and supporting people to live well. This work is continuing as a priority in 2018/19. By the end of April 2019, we anticipate we will have run 80 courses in total, which will have supported over 1000 patients.