It is estimated that encouraging patients to self care for minor illnesses such as coughs, headaches and back pain could help to make time and cost savings in the NHS amounting to £2bn.
Speaking at the annual Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB) conference in central London yesterday, Professor Steve Field, chairman of the RCGP, urged GPs to work in partnership with patients in order to give them more control over their health.
GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman added: ‘Patient dependency costs the NHS a fortune and at least one hour of GP time every day.
‘The NHS running out of money is a good trigger to promote self care. We now need a mass movement, from various sources, to help encourage self care.'