The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is launching a campaign this Self-Care Week to build patients’ confidence in preventing and treating minor illnesses themselves. The campaign, which runs from 13th to 19th November 2017, brings together a full range of videos and information into one place so that patients are better equipped to take control of their own health for life.
Self-Care Week, which forms part of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland winter plan, will feature a different topic on each day to break down the advice given into manageable chunks.
Monday 13th November 2017 Children’s health
Tuesday 14th November 2017 Older people
Wednesday 15th November 2017 Caring for others
Thursday 16th November 2017 Long term conditions and mental health
Friday 17th November 2017 Taking care of coughs and colds
Saturday 18th November 2017 Appropriate use of antibiotics
The campaign will be widely promoted across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and will bring together videos and information on each topic on the website www.staywell-llr.org.uk. Patients can also follow the campaign on Twitter @StayWellLLR and on Facebook (Page: Stay well Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland).
About the topics
Children’s health: Parents and carers will find out how to take care of common childhood illnesses such as coughs and colds, fever, upset tummies, rashes and bumps, bruises and falls.
Older people: As we age, it becomes increasingly important to take care of ourselves to prevent us from becoming unwell, particularly over the winter. Advice will be given about keeping warm; preventing slips, trips and falls and generally staying healthy.
Caring for others: On day three the campaign will address the role of taking care of others. People who look after someone else on a daily basis, who wouldn’t cope without their help, are being asked to tell their GP Practice so they themselves can get extra support by being registered as a carer. They will also receive advice about looking after their own health. Everyone will be asked to play a part in becoming a winter buddy to keep an eye on older and vulnerable friends and neighbours.
Long term conditions and mental health: If you have a long term condition, it is very important to stay on top of things to prevent the condition from getting worse. On day four, advice will be given about how to do this, as well as how to maximise mental wellbeing. Everyone will also be encouraged to sign up to the Summary Care Record. If a patient needs medical help outside of their GP Practice’s normal working hours, the information in the record will help health professionals to make the most informed decisions about their care.
Taking care of coughs and colds: A significant proportion of GP time is taken up with common winter viruses, such as coughs, colds and sore throats. On day five patients will be advised how to take care of these at home, how to prevent the spread of infection and when to seek further help. Antibiotics awareness messages will also be introduced ahead of day six.
Appropriate use of antibiotics: 18th November also marks European Antibiotic Awareness Day and so on day six advice will be given about how we should limit our use of antibiotics for more minor conditions so they are effective against serious illnesses. In particular, it will be explained that antibiotics will not cure common winter bugs.
On Sunday 19th November, patients will be reminded of the key facts from throughout the week.
Professor Azhar Farooqi, a GP and Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Patients often come to see me in my practice wanting me to help them with a minor illness or looking for some reassurance. In most cases, patients are more capable than they think of taking care of their illness independently, they just lack confidence in doing so. With this campaign, we wanted to provide patients with the knowledge they need, all in one easy place, so that they can start to take control of their own health, both now and for the rest of their lives.
“If your illness does not improve or gets worse, your GP practice should be your next port of call. However, if it is just some advice or reassurance that you need, NHS 111 is on hand 24 hours a day to advise you on how to look after you illness, make referrals or book appointments at any health services that are necessary. If your condition is really serious, they can even arrange for an ambulance if needed. My patients often tell me they struggle to work out which health service they should use. NHS 111 takes all that guess work away and will tell you which service you need.”