As part of Self Care Week 2014 (17-23 November), local doctors are encouraging residents to better understand how to take care of themselves and their family members this winter.

By being better aware and making some simple changes, residents can take care of their own health at home without the need of seeing their GP.

Self care means eating properly, taking regular exercise and looking after symptoms of common everyday illnesses. It’s also about understanding any long-term conditions that you may have and managing these on a daily basis. Eating a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise, as well as knowing when to self care and when to seek medical advice all contribute to good health.

Most cold and flu symptoms can be treated safely at home. More often than not the best course of treatment is to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Coughs, colds and sore throats are caused by viruses and so cannot actually be treated by antibiotics, despite many people still believing so.

Dr Tony Naughton, a local GP and clinical chief officer of NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We can’t highlight enough the importance of self care. When people take good care of their own health it has benefits for everyone. People spend less time at medical appointments and get more enjoyment out of life.

Dr Tony Naughton“Many people often turn to their GP for advice, when in fact they could have treated themselves at home with over the counter remedies or with a visit to their local pharmacist, who can help treat a lot of minor illnesses and ailments.

“If a cold lasts more than three weeks, or you become breathless, have chest pains, or already suffer with a chest complaint, then you should see your doctor.”

Pharmacists are well placed to provide advice on which remedies can best treat the symptoms of many minor ailments. They can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait for a GP appointment or go to A&E. First aid treatments for minor accidents such as plasters and antiseptic creams can also be obtained from the pharmacy.

You don’t need to make an appointment to see a community pharmacist and you don’t need to be registered either. Meaning you can visit when it’s most convenient for you.

National Self Care Week takes place between 17-23 November and you can find lots of useful advice by visiting www.nhs.uk/selfcare.

ENDS


Notes to editors:

  • NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services in the area to meet patients’ needs. This is known as ‘commissioning’.
  • Led by family doctors (GPs), the CCG currently serves a population of 152,000 people across approximately 320 sq km of coast and countryside. The majority live in the urban towns of Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Lytham St Annes, but a significant proportion live in rural villages.
  • The CCG receives a set amount of money from the government – around £200million in 2014/15 – and is committed to spending this wisely for the benefit of local people.
  • Giving you more choice is a priority of the modern NHS. More information is available through NHS Choices: nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Yourchoices/allaboutchoice/Pages/Allaboutchoice.aspx
  • The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient: nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Pages/Overview.aspx
  • There are many ways to get involved in health service developments, including joining our Affiliate Scheme or your practice’s patient participation group.
  • For more information about the CCG and how to get involved log onto fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk

For further information please contact the media team on 01772 214213.