GPs urge patients to self-care through pandemic restrictions to relieve pressure on NHS
LONDON, Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --
- GPs say half of all appointments are for conditions that could have been managed by patients themselves
- Two thirds (67%) of GPs urge patients to take greater responsibility for their own health and relieve pressure on the NHS as restrictions continue
- 2 in 5 (41%) GPs would urge Brits to practise better self-care and stay away from the doctors unless "absolutely necessary"
GPs want Brits to practise self-care and are urging patients to only go to the doctor's office if absolutely necessary, Healthily findings reveal
The findings of a recent survey, commissioned by self-care platform Healthily, of 2,200 adults and 100 GPs from across the UK, show that over two-thirds (67%) of GPs want their patients to take greater responsibility for their own health and relieve pressure on the NHS.
The survey, carried out by Census Wide, found that 2 in 5 GPs (41%) would strongly encourage their patients to practise better self-care with 9 in 10 (95%) GPs reporting that they see minor illnesses/injuries that could be managed at home.
The common cold tops the list of conditions GPs are encouraging people to self-manage at 60% followed by cold sores (47%), insect bites (45%), simple sprains (45%) and dandruff (44%).
Self-care is any action an individual takes to support their own physical or mental health. Around 1 in 5 GP appointments are for minor ailments, including headaches, heartburn or a blocked nose, which people can treat themselves. Minor conditions are responsible for 57 million GP visits and 3.7 million A&E admissions every year, costing the NHS over £2 billion.
Over half (55%) of adults who responded to the survey said that they had been managing their health and wellbeing through self-care at home since the start of the pandemic.
The pandemic has sparked a self-care trend with 2 in 5 (40%) of GPs agreeing that COVID-19 has shown that people have an 'innate sense' of when they genuinely need face-to-face medical treatment.
Nearly two-thirds (61%) of GPs also agree that since the onset of the pandemic, the general public are taking more responsibility for their own health.
Commenting on the findings Professor Maureen Baker CBE, former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners and Chief Medical Officer at Healthily said:
"We must ensure that we are doing our best to relieve pressure on GPs and NHS staff during this difficult time."
"The pandemic has had a huge impact on society, but it has also helped the public to embrace self-care, that is a positive thing when there are so many things people can manage themselves," she added.