In figures available to view on the NHS Confederation website our great health institution, in an international comparison with 6 other countries, whilst coming out well in terms of it’s effectiveness and efficiency came in a lowly 6th place in the category for ‘long healthy and productive lives’. It seems no coincidence then that since the publication of this survey (conducted by the Commonwealth fund in 2010) that the department for health and a number of UK health bodies have joined forces to promote self care. This joint venture known as the Self Care Forum clearly outlines in it’s mission statement to promote, educate and support people to take care of themselves. The focus of their activities culminates in Self Care Awareness Week, which this year runs from 18th-22nd November.
With population on the increase and obesity and smoking alone estimated to cost the NHS £8 billion per year there is a convincing case to raise awareness within the public conscience that living healthily and taking care of yourself will not only benefit the individual but is a public responsibility, especially so in our current climate of cuts and austerity measures. How many of you have been kept waiting past your allotted time slot at the GPs for instance? Furthermore how many of you have been made to feel by a GP that you’re being a hypochondriac and that you’re wasting their time? From visiting my own GP and hospital I often get the sense that the good people in the NHS are stretched to the limit whilst battling to make the best of things.
This said there’s an unarguable point that living healthily and looking after yourself is just good common sense. The self care forum enourages us to:
- lose weight
- get fit
- stop smoking
- cut down on alcohol
- eat more healthily
- manage common ailments yourself
We can all exert a bit of willpower to ensure we meet with the first five points on this list. On the issue of managing our own common complaints, living as we are now in a world bursting with online information we’ve never been in a better position to find out about, treat and cure common conditions. For those that prefer the human touch your nearest pharmacist is on hand to give practical advice and treatments. Even if you live in the remotest reaches a telephone will put you in touch with a pharmacist. As a responsible online pharmacy we offer this service on a freephone number, just call 0800 542 1203, we’re happy to assist.
As part of the self care awareness drive the NHS offer a free Life Check service which can tailor it’s advice to your age, gender and lifestyle. Sufferers of long term conditions are catered for too with a comprehensive list of conditions and practical advice on how to manage them available here
Following a similar model we’re constantly working to add valuable information and useful products to our site. We have a dedicated keeping healthy section and practical information and suggested treatments for common conditions.
It may come as no surprise also that over the last few years we’ve seen a considerable rise in sales of dietary supplements. It seems the public at large (perhaps put off by the idea of waiting an age to see a doctor these days), in line with self care awareness are making the effort to maintain a healthier life. Living in time-starved times with prices rising for fresh produce the need to supplement our diet with missing nutrients has never been so evident. You can view our extensive range here where we have also taken the time to give detailed information on the wide spectrum of benefits to be had.
The well known proverb that prevention is better than cure certainly has it’s place within the Self Care Forum’s message and by making the effort to maintain a healthy life we’re not just making less work for our health care professionals but we’re also, more importantly, giving ourselves a better chance in life.
- NHS A&E plan to concentrate specialist expertise in fewer hospitals (theguardian.com)
- GPs are not second-class citizens | Maureen Baker (theguardian.com)
- Difficult times will continue beyond winter, warns NHS Confederation (walesonline.co.uk)
- Concerns as a quarter of NHS walk-in centres close (standard.co.uk)