Self care now forms an increasing part of national NHS and government policy. Improving and increasing the ability of individuals to look after themselves better at all stages of life and help prevent avoidable disease. Alongside this, there are considerable savings to be made by improving medicines management and advising on OTC medicines to treat minor conditions rather than prescribing. Ultimately, there is still ample work to do to help people instinctively understand how to self care.
- Health system: To establish self care as a nationally accepted starting point for all personal health management. To see self care and the promotion of wellbeing interventions (for example through social prescribing) more firmly embedded into standard care pathways. We will measure this by a combination of ongoing qualitative and quantitative research and, for example, a reduction in NHS prescriptions.
- Self care skills: For all organisations and individuals to have the skills and tools to improve self care. We will measure this by, for instance, measuring health literacy levels and self-efficacy.
We aim to change the attitudes and behaviours of patients, practitioners and the general public and support the rational use of products and services to improve health and wellbeing whilst reducing pressure on the health service.
Add We will do this by:
- Creating practical evidence-based resources for individuals, practitioners and organisations
- Running national self care campaigns and influence national – and international – policy
- Supporting the generation of robust research evidence around self care and health literacy
- Collaborating with academic partners to advocate for – and set – the national research and development (R&D) agenda for self-care in the context of the wider health economy
Our primary goal is to be recognised as the ‘go-to’ place for self care resources in the UK and – in the future – internationally, whilst maintaining financial solvency by way of raising funds and generating new sources of income. A key part of this will be to update and expand our currently available resources to provide even more benefits to our stakeholders and ultimate beneficiaries.
Download our Vision, Mission and Goals document
The Early Days
At the Department of Health on Tuesday, 10 May 2011, Paul Burstow, Minister of State for Care Services at the time, met with 17 members of the Self Care Campaign. The occasion marked the inaugural meeting of the Self Care Forum, whose purpose is to further the reach of self care and embed it into everyday life. The Minister invited the Self Care Forum to take over National Self Care Week, a yearly campaign that was started by the Department of Health in 2009. At the inaugural meeting, the Self Care Forum also agreed nine aims within its terms of reference.
Earl Howe, former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Quality, endorsed the work of the Self Care Forum: