Self care website to help GPs advise patients

GPs can access advice and tools to help their patients care for themselves instead of using NHS resources through a website launched this week.

The website was created by members of the Self Care Forum, a group formed from the Self Care Campaign and launched by care minister Paul Burstow in 2010.

GP members include several GPs, including RCGP medical director of revalidation Professor Mike Pringle and National Obesity Forum chairman and Hertfordshire GP Dr David Haslam.

The new site hosts tools that will allow general practices to implement self care initiatives. According to the site’s developers it includes ‘top tips, reports, research, white papers and case studies’.

The Self Care Forum aims to imbed a better understanding of the importance of self care and the benefits to the NHS, namely of cost savings, claimed by the campaign to be in the region of £2bn per year. It also allows professionals to share their ideas across the country.

NHS Alliance chairman and Devon GP Dr Michael Dixon said the website was a ‘great idea’.

‘Implementing initiatives around self care has the potential to benefit the whole of the patient population,’ he said.

‘Whether this means giving our patients the confidence to care for commonly occurring conditions like coughs and colds, or encouraging them to lead healthy lives, we are freeing up consultation space for those who need it, while doing the best for our patients and saving the NHS around £2bn.’

Dr Dixon added: ‘We want to encourage all primary care staff and patient participation groups to get involved with the website and help to make it a valuable and dynamic resource.’

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