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Take control of your health - self care for life‚Äč

Self care means keeping fit and healthy, as well as knowing how to take medicines, treat minor ailments and seek help when you need it. If you have a long-term condition, self care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.
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If you are unwell, remember to make the most of the range of NHS services available to you and choose the right health service for your health needs. 

Before you go to your local A&E, remember that A&E provides vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

Local GPs in Southwark are joining NHS organisations across the country to raise awareness about self care and why it's important to choose well when accessing local health services.  

Dr Jacques Mizan, a local GP who has a leading role in prevention at NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Some people go to their GP with a minor ailment because they are unsure how long symptoms last and need reassurance that it isn't anything more serious. Before booking an appointment at your local surgery, it is worthwhile going to your local pharmacist first.

"Pharmacists are expert healthcare professionals who can explain how long common ailments should last, and give advice on symptom relief. There might even be something you can do for yourself first, especially when it comes to minor illnesses such as colds."

Most people are very capable of looking after themselves most of the time, self-treating when it's safe and knowing where and when to seek help when they need it.

Visit for lots of information about how you can use self care to improve your health and wellbeing, including: losing weight, quitting smoking, eating more healthily and managing common ailments yourself. You can also use the website to find a pharmacy, GP or an NHS dentist, and get detailed information on specific long-term conditions like diabetes, asthma, depression and arthritis.

Find local support organisations for people with long-term conditions and improving your mental health and wellbeing.