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‚ÄčTake care of your self self care image.jpg

Home is where most of us want to be when we're ill. Yet many people still visit the GP or A&E for conditions that could be treated at home.

13 -19 November is Self Care Week and this year the theme is, Embracing Self Care for Life.  The campaign is encouraging people to take steps to prevent ill health and also feel confident to manage common illnesses ourselves.

Dr Marc Rowland, Chair at NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says: "Taking better care of yourself is the best medicine and can help prevent illnesses.  Lifestyle, food and exercise can make a huge difference to your health and well-being.  Using the wrong health service increases the strain on our NHS, so it is important to think about what is the best service for your health needs. You can find advice on self care for minor illnesses on the NHS Choices website."

In Lewisham, there are a number of healthcare programmes available to help local residents with long term conditions.  These include the 'DESMOND' and 'DAPHNE', which are structured groups to help people manage their Type 2  diabetes.  LEEP (Lung Exercise & Education Programme) is a course for adults over 18 with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and some other breathing problems.  You can ask your GP or practice nurse for referral to these programmes.

There are also self-management courses for people with long-term health conditions and for their Carers here.

Many minor conditions get better themselves over time with rest at home and over the counter remedies where needed.  In Lewisham most people are only a few minutes away from an expert on the High Street. Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can give advice and recommend treatments for self treatable conditions such as coughs, colds, sprains and strains. They will help you choose the right treatment for your illness and can explain how long symptoms normally last.

If you have a cold or flu it is worth remembering that antibiotics won't help. In fact, taking them can reduce their effectiveness when taken for illnesses they can help with.

Take better care of yourself and the ones you love and choose to feel confident about managing your health and embrace self care for life.