John Smith, Chief Executive of PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, said:
“The ambition to redesign healthcare so people get the right care at the right time in the optimal care setting is welcome, however, for people with self-treatable conditions, often the right care is self care. We are disappointed the Long Term Plan does not include measures to empower people with the knowledge and skills to self care when it is most appropriate for them to do so. This is vital for the future sustainability of the NHS.
“We support the Long Term Plan’s reference to community pharmacists promoting self care. Pharmacists are expert healthcare professionals who are ideally placed to support people with self-treatable conditions and advise them on the use of over-the-counter products to manage their symptoms.
“We believe that a national strategy for self care is now needed to introduce the range of policies necessary to support members of the public and the clinical community to embed self care into the NHS and people’s lives and ensure a sustainable future for our health and care system.”