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“It’s time to put self-care first” say health leaders in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

20 September 2021

"It’s time to put self-care first" say health experts at the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care System (ICS) who are encouraging residents across the county to take steps to look after their physical and mental health.

Self-care is about staying healthy, understanding when and how you can look after yourself, and what service is best suited to your needs. Self-care for common conditions can also help free up GP time, making it easier for you to get an appointment when you have a more serious condition.

Dr John Pepper, Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We all need to prioritise self-care in our lives. Self-care refers to the actions we take to recognise, treat, and manage our own health. It can include keeping active, eating well, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol to recommended levels.

“It’s also a good idea to keep your medicine cabinet stocked with essential over-the-counter medicines for unexpected minor illnesses or discomfort, such as painkillers, cold and flu remedies, and oral re-hydration packets. Be careful not to use cough and cold remedies if you're taking paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets. These small, simple steps can make a significant difference to your overall health and happiness.”

There are lots of things you can do to look after your health and wellbeing. There is a range of easy online tools you can access from home, including the NHS website, which gives information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living and medicines as well as how and where to get help.

The NHS App allows you to access a range of NHS services on a phone or tablet, and you can visit the Every Mind Matters NHS website for practical tips and expert advice on looking after your mental health.

If you are unsure where to turn, you should use the NHS 111 online service if you urgently need medical help or advice, but it is not a life-threatening situation. It is open 24/7, and available online, by phone or through the NHS App. When you contact 111, an adviser will ask you some questions to help assess your symptoms. Once they have done this, they will offer you advice or direct you to the best service for you in the local area.

Pharmacists are trained to advise on a range of minor illnesses and can direct you to the most appropriate service for your needs. Many can also prescribe, and pharmacists are often open at evenings and weekends. For details of your nearest local pharmacy, and opening hours, go to the Find Pharmacy Services pages on the NHS website.

Mark Brandreth, Accountable Officer for the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG and Executive Lead for the ICS, said: “Of course, COVID is still here, so if you do need to see a health professional, services may still be operating a little differently. Many people find phone or video calls with their GP practice more convenient, but face-to-face appointments are still available if needed.

“If you have any COVID-19 symptoms you should get a PCR test but hopefully your symptoms will be mild enough to manage at home. Drink plenty of fluids, and rest as much as possible.

“If your symptoms do get worse, contact your GP practice or NHS 111 online for advice, or call 999 if you feel very weak, you’re unable to care for yourself, or if symptoms have lasted more than four weeks.”

For further advice please visit the following sites:

Useful links:

Page last updated 23 September 2021