Over the past two years, representatives from medical royal colleges, professional organisations and trade associations representing clinicians, commissioners, suppliers, pharmacies and manufacturers of self care medicines, medical devices and food supplements have come together to forge a clinical consensus on how best to support self care in England.
This group first worked together in 2019 to develop a Clinical Consensus Statement on Self Care, which set out seven recommendations for supporting the development of policies to encourage and enable self care for self-treatable conditions. We reconvened as a group in response to the pandemic, recognising the significant impact COVID-19 has had on the way people use NHS services. As a result of the changes in the environment, we updated our recommendations to harness the opportunities of innovation across the NHS to empower more people to take ownership of their health and wellbeing.
At the time, we recognised the urgent need for more to be done to support the development of a national self care strategy. Despite the widely recognised benefits of self care, policies to support self care were not being implemented consistently throughout the NHS and national policy has been focused elsewhere to support NHS recovery. To this end, we set out as a group to develop our own blueprint for a self care strategy, set out in this document.