What is self care?
Self care is personal health maintenance. It is any activity of an individual, family or community, with the intention of improving or restoring health, or treating or preventing disease. Self care includes all health decisions people make for themselves and their families to get and stay physically and mentally fit. Self care is exercising to maintain physical fitness and good mental health. It is also eating well, practicing good hygiene and avoiding health hazards such as smoking and drinking to prevent ill health. Self care is also taking care of minor ailments, long term conditions, or one’s own health after discharge from health services. For more information on self care see the following information:
Things you can do for yourself?
Here are some examples of things you and your family can do to self care:
- Self certify off sick for the first 7 days of illness
- Self Refer for Physiotherapy (pains and problems with muscles and joints, including your back and neck)
- If you are over 18 and registered at the practice you can self-refer by calling 02037526060, visiting our website; http://www.healthsharelondon.org.uk or via email; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Self Refer to the Mental Health team
- Community Living Well is a free and confidential NHS service for people aged 16 and over who need support with their mental health and are registered with a GP in Kensington and Chelsea or Queen’s Park and Paddington. The services on offer include short-term talking therapies, peer support groups, Arabic and Farsi counselling, self-care projects, employment support, navigation and specialist support from mental health nurses. You can self-refer by completing a referral form on their website; https://communitylivingwell.co.uk/self-refer/?stage=1
- Self Refer for Breast Screening
- Breast screening helps healthcare professionals to detect breast cancer at an early stage, which in turn improves the chances of survival. The NHS breast screening programme currently invites women aged between 50 and 70, who are registered with a GP, for a mammogram (x-ray of the breasts) once every three years. If you are eligible you will receive your first invite to attend screening at some point between your 50th and 53rd birthday. Please visit their website to read more about the service or for their contact detail; http://www.imperial.nhs.uk/our-services/cancer-services/breast-services/breast-screening
- Self Refer for Bowel Screening
- All men and women aged 60-74 are invited to carry out a faecal occult blood (FOB) test to detect Bowel Cancer at an early stage before symptoms appear. Every two years, they’re sent a home test kit, which is used to collect a stool sample. If you’re 75 or over, you can ask for this test by calling the freephone helpline on 0800 707 60 60.
- Self Refer for Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening is a way of checking if there’s a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from your heart down through your tummy.
- In England, screening for AAA is offered to men during the year they turn 65. Men aged 65 or over are most at risk of AAAs. Screening can help spot a swelling in the aorta early on when it can be treated.
- To read more about the screening and to find out where your local screening service is please visit; http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/abdominal-aortic-aneurysm-screening/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- Self Refer to National Unplanned Pregnancy Advisory Service (NUPAS)
- Pregnancy Testing
- Pregnancy Counselling
- Abortion Advice
- Abortion treatments
- Full contraception advice including LARC
- STI screening
Women can self-refer via the website www.nupas.co.uk or by calling 0333 004 6666.
- From the 1st October 2017 the Community Podiatry service will only be able to see patients with complicated podiatry needs. Unfortunately this means that a few patients will need to find a private Podiatrist. We have been instructed to direct you to the following website: http://www.scpod.org or you can contact the College of Podiatry on 0207 234 8620 for details of a registered chiropodist / podiatrist.
- Get emergency contraception from a pharmacist
- Learn some basic first aid – St John Ambulance
- Learn about common minor illness conditions
- Live a Healthier Lifestyle
- See the pharmacist for minor illnesses (If you are entitled to free NHS medicines you can still get minor illness medicines free from your pharmacist under the Minor Ailment Scheme)
- Have an up-to-date medicine cabinet/box for over the counter treatments at home, but out of reach of children. (See below for a recommended list)
- If you have a long term condition actively learn more about it and even join a group
- Make sure you take medicines prescribed to you
- Directly refer yourself or a family member to other health services
Home Medicine Cabinets
Make sure you keep your home medicines safe by:
- Keep medicines in a cool dark place away from windows and radiators. Do not keep medicines in the bathroom, even in a cabinet, as they can become hot, humid or damp.
- Always read the patient information leaflet or labels to ensure they are kept appropriately such as in fridge.
- Keep medicines out of reach of children even if medicine is in a child-resistant package. Ideally in a lockable cabinet and kept above 5 feet from the floor.
- Keep medicines in their original container therefore you know what the medicine is, how to take it, any special instructions such as take after food and the expiry date.
- Do not keep medicines that you have finished using. Take them to your pharmacy and they will dispose of them safely even if they have not reached their expiry date.
How to self manage common minor illnesses
Here is some advice on how to manage common minor illnesses:
- Hay Fever
- Vaginal Thrush
- Minor Burns/Scalds