Self-care

We promote self-care to empower individuals to take responsibility for their health and well-being. On this page you’ll find more information about self-care, our latest updates and our resources for members.

What is self-care?

 

Self-care is the actions that people take for themselves and their families to: 

  • Promote and maintain good health 
  • Promote and maintain wellbeing 
  • Take care of their self-treatable conditions 

Self-care is not the absence of care. It does not have to be practised in isolation and it may involve support and advice from others, such as expert pharmacy teams. 

pexels-gustavo-fring-3985226_resized

Leaders in self-care

At PAGB, we have long argued in favour of measures to prioritise self-care, increase education and awareness and support people’s confidence to practice self-care for self-treatable conditions.

By working closely with our members, organisations across the healthcare sector and policy makers we successfully secured a national self-care policy in May 2023. Following the publication of the Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care, we are now committed to supporting the implementation of the self-care policies within the plan  

Self-care in numbers

64 million

64 million

people in the UK will experience at least one self-treatable condition a year

Average of 5

Average of 5

the number of self-treatable conditions people experience each year

61 million

61 million

people in the UK use OTCs each year to treat self-treatable conditions

5 extra days

5 extra days

worked each year as a result of OTC use

Self Care Report

Read our self-care survey report

Our 2023 report, titled ‘Take care of yourself and the NHS’, details the latest data on self-care and explores the challenges and benefits of patients taking a more proactive approach to care for common health conditions.

We surveyed over 5,000 people in the UK to understand consumer attitudes to self-care; this is our largest survey to date. The findings were launched during Self-Care Week in the UK and secured over 200 pieces of coverage, including double-page spreads in the Sunday Express, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People and Daily Record, as well as pharmaceutical trade press.

Consumer confidence

Only 51%

Only 51%

of people feel confident in treating backache

39%

39%

of people have requested a GP appointment for self-treatable conditions

Only 60%

Only 60%

of people use their pharmacist as a first step in seeking advice or medicine for self-treatable conditions

8%

8%

of people go to A&E for self-treatable conditions

Watch our video: PAGB – the expert voice on self-care

economic video – blue background Play

The social and economic impact of self-care

In July 2023, we launched a groundbreaking new report detailing the economic value of the over-the-counter sector. The findings showed that the UK OTC sector saves the NHS £6.4 billion of prescription and appointment costs each year. 

The report also demonstrates the value of encouraging people to take a more proactive approach to their health by widening the scope of how they self-care. These changes could save the NHS over £1.7 billion a year by eliminating 25 million unnecessary GP appointments and five million avoidable visits to A&E. 

Watch a recording of our webinar on the economic impact of over-the-counter products in the UK

Resources and reports

Unleashing the potential of digital tools to support self-care (September 2023)

Download PDF

The economic impact of over-the-counter medicines in the UK (July 2023)

Download PDF

Empowering people to self-care: a toolkit for Primary Care Networks (May 2023)

Download PDF

PAGB’s Vision for Digital Self-Care (February 2023)

Download PDF

Taking care, taking control: Self-Care Attitudes 2022 (November 2022)

Download PDF

Self-care pathway infographic (May 2022)

Download PDF

Realising the potential. Developing a blueprint for a self-care strategy for England (October 2021)

Download PDF

Self-care survey 2020 (February 2021)

Download PDF

Implementation of the delivery plan for recovering access to primary care

Read more

Self-Care Manifesto: promoting self-care to support primary care recovery

Read more

Taking stock of the Government’s delivery plan for recovering primary care: One-year-on review

Read more