NHS in North Yorkshire and York encouraging patients to ‘self-care for life’

Health services in North Yorkshire and York are encouraging patients to take steps to look after their own health.

This week (14-20 November) is Self-Care Week and across North Yorkshire and York GP practice and pharmacy leaders are calling on patients to support the Self Care Forum campaign and ‘exercise self-care for life’.

Speaking on behalf of the NHS Humber and Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, North Yorkshire GP, Dr Bruce Willoughby, said: “Self-care is about taking steps to stay fit and healthy, but it’s also about knowing how you can look after yourself if you have a minor health condition like a cold, upset tummy or headache.

“It’s about knowing when a pharmacy can help with advice and over-the-counter remedies and when to seek advice from a doctor or other health professional at your local GP practice.

“There’s lots of ways we can manage our own health without it being necessary to get medical attention, though we would always urge people to come forward if there’s an issue that just won’t go away, or a patient has symptoms they’re worried about.”

Ian Dean, Chief Executive Officer of Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire, added: “Community pharmacies are health experts and we can help you treat a range of common ailments at home, without it being necessary for you to have an appointment at your local GP surgery.”

The NHS in Humber and North Yorkshire says there are some simple self-care steps everyone can follow:

  1. Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet – we can make sure we have plenty of remedies to treat common ailments, such as paracetamol, cough syrup and throat lozenges. Most people suffering from colds and ‘flu can treat their symptoms at home without needing to make an appointment at their GP practice. Antibiotics do not work on cold and ‘flu viruses and most people will start to feel better in a few days, taking plenty of fluids, rest and an over-the-counter medication. All the above are available from your local pharmacy or supermarket at a low cost – no prescription or GP appointment required. Further information on medicine cabinet essentials can be found on the NHS.uk website.
  2. Download The NHS App – it’s a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet. You can use it to get health advice using the health A-Z on the NHS websiteget advice about COVID-19, order repeat prescriptions, book appointments, find out what to do when you need help urgently, using NHS 111 online and much more.
  3. Visit the Self Care Forum – it has produced a series of factsheets to help you take care of the most common conditions. These provide useful facts about your condition, what you can expect to happen, how to help yourself, when you should see your GP, and where to find out more information.
  4. Check out the Humber and North Yorkshire Health Apps Library – brought to you by Orcha, the health apps library brings together every smartphone app you could possibly imagine to help you stay fit and healthy, or live your best life if you have a long-term medical condition.
  5. Visit your local pharmacy if you have a minor health complaint – knowing what to do to treat a minor ailment is something our local pharmacy teams can help with, and they can provide information and advice on how best to treat a wide range of minor ailments and conditions
  6. Be kind to your mind – search Every Mind Matters for help to deal with mental health and wellbeing worries. There are little things we can all do to help look after our mental health. Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more.