The UK Self-Care week, which takes place every year in November, is a national awareness initiative led by the UK Department of Health. The objective is to raise awareness throughout the country of what is available locally to help people take care of themselves.
Self-Care Week 2011 took place from 14-20 November and focused on the ways technology can be used to help people practice self-care and the sort of technology that is available for people to use. For example mobile phone applications like NHS Direct allow people to check their symptoms if they are feeling unwell, get an assessment, information about their condition and advice on how to look after themselves. Telehealth monitoring equipment enables people with complex conditions to stay at home, but also still stay in touch with their GP or other health professional. By using NHS Websites like NHS Choices www.nhs.uk/selfcare, people can find out more about managing their health as well as specific health conditions.
WSMI’s member association in the UK, The Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB), together with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) introduced an e-learning course designed to equip general practitioners in the UK with the knowledge and skills to encourage and empower their patients to self-care. Entitled “Self-Care for Minor Ailments”, the two-hour online course comprises five steps covering why people consult their doctor about minor ailments, the principles of managing minor ailments and improving your practice. The introduction of the course coincided with the launch of the third UK Self-Care Week.