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.
Empowering people to have the confidence and information to look after themselves when they can, and only visit the GP when they need to, gives people greater control of their own health and encourages healthy behaviours that help prevent ill health in the long-term. In many cases people can take care of their minor ailments, reducing the number of GP consultations and enabling GPs to focus on caring for higher risk patients, the very young and elderly, managing long-term conditions and providing new services.
More cost-effective use of NHS resources also allows money to be spent where it’s most needed and improve health outcomes.