Making the case for self care


The NHS spends millions each year on appointments and prescriptions for self-treatable conditions. How can self care help to build a more sustainable NHS for future generations?

PAGB is calling for the 2020s to be the decade of self care

With the NHS under increasing pressure from an ageing population and years of under-funding, it is critical that everything possible is done to limit pressures on services, reduce wasteful practices and shift the entire system towards a greater focus on preventative care. Our analysis shows that millions of pounds a year could be saved by implementing changes that empower more people to self care for self-treatable conditions.

The importance of empowering people to self care is one of PAGB’s core policy messages. This means giving people the confidence and the tools to do so, including improving health literacy, raising awareness of the role of pharmacists, and putting in place health policies that support and promote self care.

How does PAGB make the case for self care?

Reports and research

PAGB works with partners and stakeholders to promote the importance of self care to policymakers and those involved with the planning and delivery of health services.  Our reports set out clearly the case for why self care is so important for the future of the NHS and for empowering individuals to look after their own health.

 NEW July 2020 – PAGB survey suggests coronavirus will change attitudes to NHS use.

A survey of over 2000 people found that A&E and GP services are less likely to be the first port of call for those with self-treatable conditions in future while more people will choose to care for themselves if they can. READ MORE


Collaboration with other health organisations

Together with representatives from health professional bodies, pharmacy organisations and the Self Care Forum, PAGB issued a joint statement on the importance of self care and a report of the roundtable meeting that produced the consensus statement (March 2020). Read more.

Engaging with policymakers and stakeholders

PAGB submitted written evidence to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Select  Committee’s inquiry into Delivering Core NHS and Care Services during the Pandemic and Beyond.  In our submission (May 2020), we identify a unique opportunity to cement positive changes in the way people use NHS resources for the longer-term sustainability of the NHS. Read more.

banner for self care white paper

As the Government and NHS England work to implement the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan, PAGB is calling for a national self care strategy. Coordinated national leadership and action to promote self care is vital to achieving the behaviour change required to support a meaningful shift towards prevention and ensure the NHS’s future sustainability.

In March 2019, PAGB launched a White Paper, setting out a series of policies which must be implemented to create and embed a culture of self care, including supporting people to manage their own health, tackling health inequalities and reducing pressures on NHS services.

Follow the links below to find out more about PAGB’s self care policy and engagement work.

Harnessing the potential of technology to transform self care
Enhancing the role of pharmacy is key to self care success
OTC directory

PAGB produces the OTC Directory, a comprehensive guide to OTC products available on the market in the UK.

The OTC Directory is a free resource for healthcare professionals to help them support people to self care for self-treatable conditions. Using the OTC Directory, GPs, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals can help advise people on what is available to help them manage symptoms, and help give them the confidence to self care in the future.