A long-term vision for self care: interim white paper


As the NHS enters its eighth decade and the Government announces a new multi-year funding settlement, PAGB is calling for a national strategy for self care to ensure a sustainable future for our health and care system. The way individuals interact with and access the healthcare system must be modernised, putting a culture of self care at the heart and empowering people to live well.

As the Government develops a new long-term vision for the NHS, now, more than ever, is the time to produce a national strategy for self care. This strategy must achieve three objectives:

1. Enhance access to self care
2. Improve health literacy
3. Realise the potential of pharmacists

These three objectives cannot be met by NHS England in isolation; rather, coordinated action led by the Department of Health and Social Care – with important contributions from Health Education England and PHE as well as NHS England – is required.

The steps that can be taken in pursuit of each of these objectives are set out in further detail in the interim white paper.

Amongst them are a number of tangible policies which we recommend are included as part of a national strategy to maximise the opportunity of self care.


Why has PAGB produced an interim white paper?

The White Paper ‘A long-term vision for self care’ follows publication of a Green Paper in 2016,  ‘Enabling Self Care in Greater Manchester’, which we used to gather information from stakeholders on self care policies and how implementation could benefit the health economy in Greater Manchester. The aim of the Green Paper was to identify the levers for implementation of policy initiatives and to help shift the system towards a greater focus on preventative care, which could be translated to other parts of the UK under a national self care strategy.  Read more

The White Paper takes a national view of the importance of self care and its wider role in healthcare. Measures which PAGB believes should be introduced under a national self care strategy include:

View the full list of PAGB policy priorities.

Read more on our news page

Support from the Company Chemists Association

“Community pharmacy is ideally placed to ease pressure on GPs and hospitals by supporting people to self-care. We fully support the PAGB’s call for a national strategy for self-care. As this report shows, there are many examples of good practice that demonstrate the need for a national, joined-up approach. We would welcome the opportunity to help deliver a more sustainable future for our health and social care system.”

Malcolm Harrison, Chief Executive, Company Chemists’ Association

A roundtable on self care

PAGB’s White Paper was launched to coincide with a parliamentary roundtable event on 18 July 2018, Creating a sustainable future for the NHS: a roundtable discussion on a National Self Care Strategy.

The event, chaired by Martin Vickers MP and hosted jointly by PAGB, Self Care Forum and the Royal College of General Practitioners, invited MPs and key stakeholders from the health sector to discuss self care in the context of a new long-term vision for the NHS, setting out the key priorities for a national self care strategy, and how best to drive system-wide behavioural change.


Download a summary report of the meeting:  ‘Creating a sustainable future for the NHS: a roundtable discussion on the need for a National Self Care Strategy’.

Video message from Normal Lamb MP

Normal Lamb MP video