Headlines: November 10th, 2009

For the first time the NHS is running a campaign to make patients more aware of how they can manage their own wellbeing. ‘Self Care Week’ aims to show the improvements people can make by taking a more active role in their own health and taking better care of themselves.

The week’s four objectives are to raise awareness of self care and how it can help everyone, rather than just those with long term and chronic conditions; to encourage people to use a range of information and resources, including the NHS Choices website; to explain how care planning and new technology can assist with self care and to encourage patients with long term conditions to discuss personal care plans with their GP or nurse.

The Department of Health is stressing that getting patients involved in their own care does not mean they will receive less support from the NHS. Encouraging everyone with a long term condition to discuss a personal care plan ensures patients talk about what matters to them and about the support and services available to them as well as having a record of the decisions made about their care.

The Health Minister Ann Keen said that as a nurse she had seen what a difference being well informed and involved in decisions made to patients’ wellbeing. “Self Care Week isn’t just for people with health conditions. The NHS is holding events around the country with information on how to make lifestyle changes and help people take better care of themselves and families,” she said.