There are approximately 57 million GP consultations a year for minor ailments at a total cost to the NHS of £2 billion. A 12 minute consultation with a GP costs the NHS approximately £43, and a visit to Accident and Emergency costs £112.
Self care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional. The majority of people feel comfortable managing everyday minor ailments themselves, particularly when they feel confident in recognising the symptoms, and how to manage the problem.
On average, people in the UK experience nearly four symptoms every fortnight, 80% of which can be managed by self-care. One in five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough.
Self care gives you, as a patient, greater control of your own health, it reduces the number of unnecessary GP consultations, and enables GPs to focus on caring for higher risk patients, such as the very young and elderly, acute medical complaints, managing long-term conditions and providing new services.
Please help us to help you, evidence shows that when people are supported to self care, they benefit from better health outcomes, improved experiences of care and fewer unplanned care admissions.
The self care forum provides fact sheets for common ailments, explaining how to help yourself, and when you should see a GP, as well as additional information on healthy living , and tips for living with a long-term conditions.
Please click on the headings below for more information.