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.