Self Care Week: Choosing the right health service can save the NHS money

During Self Care Week (13 – 19 November) Healthwatch Bury wants to remind you to choose well when accessing local health services.
Some health conditions such as sprains, colds and coughs can be treated without a trip to the GP. Treating self treatable conditions at home, and using the right health services for your needs will help take pressure off the NHS.
“The NHS constitution, which is the NHS handbook, says ‘please recognise you can make a significant contribution to your own and your family’s good health and wellbeing and take responsibility for it.’ It is important to take some time to understand how you may be able to help yourself before accessing health services.’’
There are 3.7m visits a year to A&E for self-treatable conditions such as colds, flu and colic, which puts the NHS under unnecessary strain. This means less time for people with life threatening conditions such as severe bleeding or heart attacks who vitally need A&E services.
Before visiting A&E, consider whether there is a service better suited to your needs. Think about using information on NHS choices, calling NHS 111 or visiting your local pharmacist for advice. Don’t spend four hours waiting for an A&E appointment for something you may be able to treat at home.
Feel confident in looking after your health, help our NHS and embrace Self Care for Life.