Self care for life - take control
Next week is Self-Care Week running from 18 - 24 November. This year’s theme is “Self-Care for Life – Take Control”.
GPs in Southwark are joining the campaign to raise awareness of how individuals can take control of their health and wellbeing. The week is about inspiring and empowering residents in Southwark to help themselves to lead happier, healthier lives.
Dr Jonty Heaversedge, a GP Lead for NHS Southwark CCG said: "I want to encourage you to learn more about the health advice and support that is out there – whether it is online, in the media, or from trusted sources in the community such as your local pharmacist."
You can take simple lifestyle steps to achieve better health. For example many people are not aware that they can get advice on most minor ailments from their pharmacist - including sore throats, allergies and many aspects of women’s health. The NHS choices website www.nhs.uk also provides lots of information about different symptoms – many of which you may even be able to treat yourself at home. For example, most coughs and colds will get better with some rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol to help with any fever, aches or pains.
Dr Headversegde added: "It is really important to arm yourself with the information you need to decide when you should seek medical attention. And don’t forget, if in doubt, most GP practices are very happy to offer you advice over the telephone rather than having to book an appointment for more minor problems."
"It’s also important that you know about your own health and take measures to stay healthy. Like eating properly, taking regular exercise, drinking less alcohol and quitting smoking.
"If you have a long term condition such as asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure you can work with your GP and practice nurse to take more control of it. For example, you will feel better if you don’t skip any medication you have been given by your doctor, and attend regular reviews so that they can help monitor how things are going. Empower yourself with information about your condition and, if in doubt, ask your GP, practice nurse or local pharmacist for advice and support."
"Hopefully, by working together, we can take some of the pressure off NHS services, which we know are going to be under particular strain this winter."
To find out more about local health advice and support services visit www.nhs.uk/selfcare
Remember: Self-Care for Life and take control!