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Self-care to help yourself and the NHS

The NHS in Cheshire is marking Self-Care Week (15 to 21 November) by sharing top tips to help people get better quickly if they have a minor ailment.

And health chiefs are holding two one-hour workshops online to sign up volunteers as self-care champions and share advice in their communities.

The headline message from NHS Cheshire CCG is to visit www.cheshireccg.nhs.uk and click #ChooseWellCheshire for videos, flyers and graphics on treating everything from coughs, colds and sore throats to earache, headaches and heartburn.

The website shows that it’s possible for people to stock up their medicine cabinet for less than £10 with over-the-counter products including paracetamol, ibuprofen and indigestion remedies.

And it promotes the role of community pharmacists as highly-qualified healthcare professionals who can advise on treatments for a wide range of conditions. There is no need to make an appointment, and many pharmacies have private consulting rooms.

Dr Sinead Clarke, the CCG’s joint medical director, said: “Most people can effectively manage their own minor ailments, freeing up GPs to focus on caring for higher-risk patients, the very young and elderly, managing long-term conditions and providing new services.

“By self-caring and not waiting for an unnecessary GP appointment, people can play their part in ensuring more cost-effective use of NHS resources - allowing money to be spent where it’s most needed to improve health outcomes.”

Jamie, one of the CCG’s self-care champions, added: “With winter yet to arrive, the NHS is already under great pressure. As a self-care champion, I know I can do my bit by looking after myself if I have a cough, cold or sore throat.

“And that’s why I signed up as a self-care champion to do my bit for the NHS and to signpost people to the help they need when they have a minor ailment.”

To help the CCG promote Self-Care Week, Jamie has filmed a short video on his role as a self-care champion: 

People interested in becoming a self-care champion in Self-Care Week can register for the CCG’s workshops at 10am on Wednesday (17 November) or 6pm on Thursday (18 November). To sign up, visit here. Everyone completing the session will be presented with a certificate.

For more information on the workshops, email communications and engagement manager Noreen Caldwell or community engagement manager Leanne Hill. Noreen and Leanne also manage the CCG’s Self-Care Awards programme for schools and businesses that take steps to support the physical and emotional wellbeing of students and employees respectively. Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are available.