Patients, members of the public and healthcare practitioners are being reminded of the importance of self-care as part of a national initiative supported by Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

National Self-Care Week runs from 12 to 18 November and is an opportunity for everyone – including doctors and nurses – to consider how they look after themselves.

 

Some health conditions such as sprains, colds and coughs can be treated at home or with advice from a pharmacist without a trip to the GP or A&E. This initiative aims to help people to choose well when accessing local health services, to save patients’ time and help take pressure off the NHS.

Stuart Jefferey, Deputy Managing Director of Medway CCG, said: “National Self-Care Week is about encouraging people to consider their choices when faced with an illness, for instance to use the information on NHS Choices, to call 111 or to visit a pharmacy for advice. It’s about not spending hours waiting in A&E for something that could have been treated at home or with help from a pharmacist.”

Self-care advice is always available from GPs and pharmacies and can be an empowering way of recovering from minor ailments. Advice ranges from steps to maintain good mental health to ways to treat minor health problems by yourself, for life. These include asking a pharmacist about medicines, giving more thought to the foods you eat, participating in exercise and physical activity and practicing mindfulness.

Dr Farnaaz Sharief, Clinical Lead for Mental Health at Medway CCG, explains: “We all lead such busy lives and face so many demands on our time and attention that it can often be difficult to focus on our own needs and wellbeing, which can be detrimental to our mental and physical health. Self-care week is about reminding people of the importance of looking after yourself.”

One of the ways Medway CCG is engaging in National Self-Care Week is by encouraging staff to take part in a one-off additional series of Manage Your Mind workshops.

Manage Your Mind is a free weekly group run by Dr Sharief. Members of the public can register to attend to learn important skills to help them cope with stressful situations.

Dr Sharief explained: “Manage Your Mind has had considerable success in supporting the health of participants, and National Self-Care Week seemed the perfect opportunity to set up a special round of sessions for CCG staff.

“I started the workshops after learning mindfulness as a way to deal with my own stress, and I am sure many of my colleagues will benefit from the skills shared. Their own personal experience of Manage Your Mind will then help them to appreciate its value to their patients, hopefully encouraging more people to take part and learn the importance of self-care.”

Members of the public can find out more about the sessions – and register themselves – at www2.manageyourmind.org.uk or see www.selfcareforum.org to find out more about self-care in general.

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Notes to Editors

  • Medway CCG is responsible for planning and buying local NHS services, for the patient population of 299,660 across Medway.
  • Medway CCG’s main role is to plan and buy health services across the Medway towns. It works closely with patient groups, local public health, social care and voluntary sector partners to make sure the right services are available at the right time.
  • The CCG is one of 211 in the country, the Medway CCG is made up of GPs, other healthcare professionals and experienced commissioners dedicated to making Medway a healthier place to live.
  • It is committed to developing a strong clinically-led organisation that puts the needs of Medway residents at the heart of its decisions.
  • Medway Clinical Commissioning Group has a governing body made up of local GPs, a registered nurse and several lay members, all working with a network of health professionals across the area.