MPs debate national self care strategy

MPs discussed the benefits of self care and called for a broader role for community pharmacists in a Parliamentary debate on the potential merits of a national strategy for self care.

The Westminster Hall debate, secured by Sir George Howarth MP, follows last year’s launch of Realising the potential, a blueprint for a self care strategy for England, drawn up by PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, and eight partner organisations across industry and healthcare.Many of the issues raised by MPs during the debate on 26 April touched on recommendations from the blueprint, including the need to:• develop and implement a cohesive and holistic national strategy for self care;• increase awareness of what appropriate measures can and should be taken when people experience minor ailments that do not require a GP or A&E visit;• allow pharmacists to read and update medical records;• make best use of digital tools to realise their full potential for self care.Responding to the debate on behalf of the Government, Minister of State for Health Edward Argar said an ‘effective and proportionate’ approach to self care could play a key part in helping to manage pressure on the NHS, if people sought out the most appropriate place to access treatment.Michelle Riddalls, CEO of PAGB, said: “We are very pleased that our joint blueprint for a national self care strategy helped to prompt such a considered and constructive Parliamentary debate about self care.

“The response to the blueprint from stakeholders and policymakers has been enormously positive in the months since its launch.“We hope the Westminster Hall debate proves a further milestone on the road towards more comprehensive and better-integrated policies to encourage self care across our health system.”

You can read the full transcript of the debate here

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