Public urged to cut doctor visits

Share Button
Over the counter medicines. Pic by Kayleigh Watthey © JMU Journalism

Over the counter medicines. Pic by Kayleigh Watthey © JMU Journalism

People are being encouraged to consider if a trip to the doctor is necessary as part of National Self-Care Week.

Self-Care Week is an annual awareness campaign that aims to raise awareness of how some common minor illnesses do not require antibiotics, and that visiting a pharmacy for advice and treatment is often a person’s best option.

The campaign, running all this week, involves Liverpool Community Health (LCH), NHS Trust and Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group encouraging people to be healthy this winter and understand how to be healthy for life.

According to LCH, doctors visits rise at this time of year, with one of the main reasons being for cold and flu. These can often be treated with over the counter medicines and don’t require a trip to your GP.

Each doctor appointment costs £43 and an Emergency Department visit costs £112 so learning how to self-care could cut the overall cost to the NHS.

Dr Stephanie Gallard, Deputy Medical Director at LCH said: “Self-care is incredibly important and can help local NHS services during the busy winter months. One in four people who access A&E could have either self-treated or used another service such as their local pharmacy, Doctor or Walk in Centre for advice or treatment of minor injuries and ailments.”

LCH say that self-care is about taking care of yourself by keeping fit, healthy and active, as well as knowing how to take medicines, treat minor illnesses and knowing how and where to seek help when you need it.

Emily Eccles, a spokesperson for LCH, told JMU Journalism: “We’ll be working alongside Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group to promote self-care messages through local media, websites and information in local GP surgeries and pharmacies. There’ll also be lots of activity online and through social media.

“This week it’s the national event but it is something we promote all year round so that people know where to go to get what they need.”

Dr Maurice Smith, GP and LCCG Governing Body Member, said that one of the key aims of the Healthy Liverpool programme is its ambition for Liverpool to become the most physically active city in the country by 2021.

About Kayleigh Watthey, JMU Journalism