Self Care

In Somerset we are working to ensure patients feel more empowered and informed to manage their own health. On this page you will find information and resources to support self-care.

Around 80% of all care in the UK is self care. The majority of people feel comfortable managing everyday minor ailments like coughs and colds themselves; particularly when they feel confident in recognising the symptoms and have successfully treated using an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine before.

Despite people’s willingness to initially self-treat, there are still 57 million GP consultations a year for minor ailments at a total cost to the NHS of £2 billion, which takes up, on average, an hour a day for every GP.

In the year prior to June 2017, the NHS spent approximately £569 million on prescriptions for medicines, which could otherwise be purchased OTC from a pharmacy and/or other outlets such as petrol stations or supermarkets.

These prescriptions include items for a condition:

  • That is considered to be self-limiting and so does not need treatment as it will heal or be cured of its own accord;
  • Which lends itself to self-care i.e. the person suffering does not normally need to seek medical advice and can manage the condition by purchasing OTC items directly.

Self-Care Week 2024

Self Care Week (18th to 24th November) is an annual, well established national awareness week, organised by the Self Care Forum, that focuses on embedding support for self care across communities, families and generations.

The theme for 2024 is “Mind & Body”.

We encourage you to promote Self Care Week using the Self Care Forum Resources where you can find Ideas for Primary Care Networks, Ideas for Surgeries and other useful resources.

Patient Information and Leaflets

Prescriber Resources

Schools and Early Years Settings