Posted by Amanda Crawford at 12/11/2018 10:03:05
To mark Self Care Week (12-18 November) NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people to invest in their future selves by “choosing self care for life” and making small changes that can make a big difference
Many long term conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease are avoidable. However, latest data show no improvements in Kent to the number of people dying as the result of smoking, while the number who are overweight and at risk of diabetes is still increasing. It is important to embrace self care, making healthy life choices now to give ourselves a healthier future.
Dr Navin Kumta, chair of NHS Ashford CCG said: “It’s never too early or too late to begin to make small, simple changes that will enhance and protect your health now and, in the future, and often, one small change will make a big difference to your wellbeing.”
Self care will not just keep you healthier, it will also help ease demand on local health services where a large number of people still visit A&E for treatment of health problems best dealt with by their GP or a pharmacist.
Dr Kumta added “At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, act quickly and get advice from your local pharmacist before it gets more serious. Antibiotics don’t work against viral infections such as colds and will not be prescribed by your doctor.
“GPs are only prescribing antibiotics when we are absolutely sure that they are necessary. Everybody needs to do their bit though. If you are prescribed antibiotics you should follow the instructions on the packet, take them at the intervals directed and ensure that any course is completed. Antibiotics should never be shared or saved for later.”
Around 95 per cent of people live within a 20 minute walk of a local community pharmacy, making pharmacists easily accessible and a valuable first port of call for health concerns such as coughs, colds, tummy troubles or teething, avoiding the need to be seen by a doctor. Pharmacies also sell a range of medication, often at lower cost than a prescription, which will save both patients and the NHS money.
Health Help Now, the award-winning website and app developed for Kent and Medway, has tailored advice for different age groups, and shows the nearest NHS services and whether they are open or closed. It is available at http://www.healthhelpnow.nhs.uk and on Google Play and the App Store.
Top tips for looking after yourself
· make sure you keep your medicine cabinet well stocked, especially with cold and flu remedies, and painkillers such as Ibuprofen or paracetamol
· try not to spread illness. Use tissues for coughs and sneezes and dispose of them in a bin.
· for colds and flu the best advice is to stay at home, drink plenty of fluids and, when necessary, take over-the-counter drugs. Two or three days rest will shake off most winter illnesses
· stay at home for 48 hours after any diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms end to avoid giving it to anyone else.
· keep active, if going to the gym isn’t for you, try walking part of the way to work or taking the stairs
· one of the best things you can do for your health is to stop smoking. Ask your local pharmacist about stop smoking services
· make sure you get at least seven hours sleep a night, a good night’s sleep is essential to good physical and mental health
· eat healthily – try swapping sugary snacks for healthy nuts and fruit. You can get more advice from NHS Choices https://www.nhs.uk/livewell/Pages/Livewellhub.aspx
· remember to relax – try mindfulness or yoga, learn a new skill or volunteer your time For more information on how to make small changes that make a big difference, visit https://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/one-you-kent