Public education is key to enabling self care 

A new report says millions of people are booking GP appointments or going to A&E for minor health problems they could treat themselves.

Consumer healthcare association PAGB published the research to mark Self Care Week 2023. Key findings include:

  • 4 in 10 adults have asked for a GP appointment for minor issues, for example colds or insect bites
  • More than half of GP visits end with patients being advised to take over-the-counter remedies
  • 1 in 10 people are attending A&E for minor conditions like headlice.

The report says education is the key to self-care confidence.

Eight in 10 people surveyed said more education is needed to encourage self care.

This may be particularly important for certain demographics.

Six in 10 of those on the lowest income said they would be comfortable making decisions about their own health.

This was compared to 8 in 10 of those with a joint household income of £80,000 or more.

Download the full report from the PAGB here.

Greater risk of loneliness in deprived communities 

New data analysis shows people living in the most deprived communities are at greatest risk of long-term loneliness and associated health problems.

Analysis by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) shows people in the most deprived communities are at significantly greater risk of becoming lonely.

They are also less likely to escape loneliness. 

One reason for this may be that people in the most deprived communities have significantly worse access to community facilities.

Long-term loneliness has been linked to health problems including depression, dementia and heart trouble.

The report’s authors call for new investment in communities and rebuilding social infrastructure.

Read more and download the briefing from the ILC website here.

New online resources on CPR in secondary schools

The Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) has launched new resources for secondary school teachers.

The CPR in Secondary Schools page includes lesson plans, games, animations, personal stories and a template letter to send to parents and carers.

The RCUK worked with PIF member Barts Health NHS Trust to develop the page.

View the resources via the RCUK website here.

Welsh language resources for Self Care Week

PIF partner the Self Care Forum has worked with the Welsh Government to offer Welsh language social media resources for this year’s Self Care Week.

Some resources are also available in Urdu, including a fact sheet and webinar translation.

Self Care Wek runs until 19 November.

Find all Self Care Week resources on the Self Care Forum website here.

Big business urged to take greater responsibility for public health

The chief medical officer for Wales has called for large companies to take more responsibility for public health.

In his annual report, Sir Frank Atherton said businesses routinely promote products and lifestyles that can be bad for public health. 

He said unhealthy behaviours were often less about individual choices and more a result of strategies used by large companies.

Read more and download the full report from the Welsh Government website here.

Addressing women’s health inequalities in the workplace

NHS Scotland is launching a national Menopause and Menstrual Health Workplace Policy.

The measures are designed to support women experiencing difficult menopause or menstrual health symptoms in the workplace

It is one of the medium-term actions in the Scottish Women’s Health Plan. 

Read more about the policy on the Scottish Government website here.

Call for inspirational stories to promote digital inclusion work

The Good Things Foundation is looking for inspirational support stories from members of its National Digital Inclusion Network.

Stories would be used in campaigns and press coverage promoting the importance of the foundation’s digital inclusion work.

Anyone running a Digital Inclusion Hub can share their case study using this form.

Open letter calls for more support for charities

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is urging charities to sign an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

It says voluntary organisations deliver vital public services and calls on the chancellor to address the “continued underfunding of contracts and grants” in the Autumn Statement.

The letter is the latest move in the NCVO Cost of Giving campaign.

It follows a survey revealing 7 in 10 charities are unable to meet the increased demand for their services with current levels of funding.

Read the letter on the NCVO website here.

Our Health Heroes awards open for nominations

An award scheme highlighting the work of healthcare staff across the UK is open for nominations.

Categories in the Our Health Heroes awards include: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Champion and Healthcare Volunteer of the Year.

The awards are run by Skills for Health.

Find out more about Our Health Heroes here.