Self Care Nation: Self Care Attitudes and Behaviours in the UK

New research by PAGB, the UK trade association which represents the manufacturers of branded over-the-counter medicines, self care medical devices and food supplements, exploring how people use GP and A&E services shows that if they understood their own NHS ‘footprint’, 80 per cent would be more likely to seek advice from pharmacists and use over-the-counter remedies for coughs, colds and other self-treatable conditions.

The Self Care Nation report commissioned for Self Care Week 2016 (14-20 November), explores the current attitudes of 5,011 UK adults towards self care and managing self-treatable conditions, without the need for a visit to the GP or A&E.

The research revealed that the majority of people in the UK (92 per cent) acknowledge the importance of taking responsibility for their own health in order to ease the financial burden on the NHS. However, every year there are an estimated 57 million GP consultations and 3.7 million visits to A&E for self-treatable conditions, costing the NHS an estimated £2.3 billion.

The findings reveal that when made aware of the cost of self treatable conditions to the NHS, nearly one third of those who qualify for free prescriptions (29 per cent) said they would be willing to purchase an over the counter medicine for a self-treatable condition. Considering the NHS still spent more than £83 million on prescribing 22.6 million packs of paracetamol in 2014, behaviour shifts like this could have a significant impact on the future sustainability of the healthcare system.

To view the report please visit Self Care Attitudes and Behaviours in the UK