The Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB) is calling for a national strategy for self care to become a critical part of NHS long term plans, in order to ensure a sustainable future for the health and care system.

The NHS “needs more than just a cash injection” to cope with the challenges it faces, PAGB said.

PAGB chief executive John Smith commented: “The Prime Minister has signalled that the new financial settlement for the NHS must be accompanied by a new long-term vision for the health and care system in England, focused on further integrating services, strengthening accountability, and empowering people to take more responsibility for their own health.”

Smith said that self care must be part of this long-term vision: “It is critical that this vision addresses the increasing pressure on services, reduces wasteful practices and shifts the entire system towards a greater focus on preventative and holistic self care.”

He believes the national self care strategy should have three key objectives: enhanced self care; improved health literacy; and a realisation of the potential role of pharmacists.

“To have the greatest impact, self care policies need to be coordinated across the system and that is why we need a national strategy as a priority,” he said.

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