0800 06 88 000
General information on self care, evaluation
and supporting documentation (see key
Please also see the
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease factsheet for information on
self care for COPD.
NHS Improvement have published 'Accurate diagnosis for suspected
COPD'. This document covers diagnosis, tests and assessment of severity
Department of Health – Long Term Conditions
and guidance on long term conditions.
The Stroke: Act F.A.S.T. awareness campaign aims to educate
healthcare professionals and the public on the signs of stroke and that
prompt emergency treatment can reduce the risk of death and disability.
It encourages people to recognise the signs of stroke and feel confident
to phone 999 for an ambulance on detecting any single one of them.
Emergency action is as important for TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) or
Health care professionals can order Stroke Act
F.A.S.T support materials online from the Department of Health
publications orderline or by telephone 0300 123 1002.
Self Care Connect
This is a new resource and networking
organisation for everyone with a professional interest in self-care.
The site provides fast access to information and resources on self-care.
There is growing evidence to show that supporting
self care leads to:
Improved health and quality of life
Rise in patient satisfaction
Significant impact on the use of services,
with fewer primary care consultations, reduction in visits to
out-patents and A&E, and decrease in use of hospital resources.
Impact on patients
Better symptom management, including a
reduction in pain, anxiety, depression and tiredness
Improved feeling of well being
Increase in life expectancy
Improved quality of life with greater
Impact on care services
Visits to GP’s can decrease by 40%
Outpatient visits can reduce by 17%
A&E visits can reduce by up to 50%
Hospital admissions can be halved.
There are four main areas that support self care:
|1. Skills Training
|For professionals involved in patient care
Support for self care in Primary care and urgent settings
Self Care for Primary Care
- Actively promotes self care and has developed a number of training tools for
schools, People and Primary care.
- Programme aimed at both PCTs (and social care organisations) and general
practice, including pharmacy teams, as a route to developing a culture where
promoting and supporting self care is integral to every aspect of and healthcare
and services the team provide.
- Training materials and tools and devices to support self care.
- Registration (free) to the site is necessary to access the resources.
Competences for Training in self management for people with
long term health conditions
|While information on its own is not enough to affect people’s behaviour, quality
of life or clinical outcome, there is good evidence to suggest that better
understanding of a long term condition can positively affect people’s
understanding of their symptoms and long term health.
Developing a personalised action plan with patients which identifies where they
can get information, support, skills in using tools or devices which may help
them self monitor their condition will help promote a patients self efficacy.
‘Be in control’ materials have been developed to help people with asthma to
self manage and take better control of their asthma. The pack includes an
action plan with information about what actions to take when their symptoms get
better or worse. It also includes information about what to do during an asthma
attack. Patient.co.uk also gives an example of an
Asthma action plan. To do this patients need to know:
- Information to assess their own conditions
- To know what is normal for them
- To know where and how to get further help and advice
- To know how and why to take their medicines.
|Information may be sourced from:
Healthtalkonline for info on conditions, friends, family, pharmacists, library, adult
- Internet - if patients don’t have access to the internet at home local libraries
provide free access for up to the first 30 minutes. There are also people on
hand who can help with navigating sites. Professionals can signpost to this
- Leaflets and information sheets
- Health professionals
- Friends, neighbours and family
Your health, your way – a guide to long-term conditions and
self care was launched on NHS Choices on 2 November 2008
to provide people with long-term conditions the information
they need about the choices which should be available
locally, to enable them to self care in partnership with
health and social care professionals. If people are able to
understand and exercise their choice around support for self
care, they can better control their condition and ultimately
improve their quality of life. From April 2009 local
services should be provided to match the national offer.
Launch letter available
NHS Choices have launched an
Information Prescription service which allows the public
and health professionals to create information prescriptions
for long-term health needs, providing information about the
condition and local services. An informed patient is better
placed to make decisions about their care and wellbeing, and
manage changes in their health status.
Patients can create their own information prescription at
Care pathways are available on NHS Choices with information
on help to avoid developing the condition, symptoms, being
diagnosed, treatment and living with a condition. For a
full list of conditions,
|Health Literacy – Skilled for health
||Ensuring patients know what medicines do, why they take them and how to take
them has been shown to increase the rate of compliance
NHS Choices Medicines Guide
|3. Tools and devices
|What tools and devices are available to assist with this condition? These may
include self monitoring tools and assistive technology. This can come from a
variety of sources including health, social services, voluntary organisations
Supporting Self Care – a practical option: Diagnostic, monitoring and assistive
tools, devices, technologies and equipment to support self care
Making the Case for Self Care Education - The Department
of Health, in collaboration with Expert Patients Programme
CIC, have developed a new tool to help make the local
business case for self care education.
Self Management Support Resource Centre - The Health
Foundation resource centre is packed full of information and
practical resources that can be adopted and adapted locally
to help services and health professionals to develop their
own self management support programmes.
Self Care Toolkit – for people who live with persistent
The Pain Toolkit – for people who live with persistent
Packed with handy tips to help people with a persistent
health condition manage better on a day-to-day basis. Hard
copies of the toolkits on
www.orderline.dh.gov.uk or by telephoning 0300
123 100. Quote 403298/Self Care Toolkit or 403298/Pain
Picker Institute Europe – Invest in Engagement.
Best Buys include programmes of self-management education
integrated into routine healthcare with the
active involvement of health
professionals. These could be delivered
through web-based applications. Self-monitoring programmes
for people to check their own health status
may have a role to play.
strategies can improve people's adherence to treatment.
|Community and voluntary support groups, expert patient, and diseases specific
Healthtalkonline shares other people's experiences of health
and illness. You can watch or listen to videos of the
interviews, read about people's experiences and find
reliable information about conditions, treatment choices and
support. The information on Healthtalkonline is based on
qualitative research into patient experiences, led by
experts at the University of Oxford. Healthtalkonline
replaces the DIPEx.org website.
||A list of the most common support groups relating to specific diseases
Support organisations listed by conditions and treatments.
A condensed list of support organisations is
here [PDF - 41kb].
Long Term Conditions – Links to Self
The Self Care Toolkit. A very useful self care information booklet
developed by Pete Moore, a senior trainer at the Expert Patients
Programme based in Essex, for people who live with persistent health
conditions, their families and carers, and health professionals.
Anginaplan.org.uk – Self management plan for people with stable
Arthritis Care UK – Self Management
Asthma UK – Be in Control
DAFNE - DAFNE is a skills based education
programme in which people with Type 1 diabetes learn how to adjust
insulin to suit their free choice of food and
DESMOND - Diabetes Education and Self-Management for Ongoing and
Newly Diagnosed. It is a new, structured group education programme for
people with Type 2 diabetes.