The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Primary Care and Public Health has called for a National Strategy for Self Care to combat the rise in people using A&E and GPs for self-treatable conditions.
Each year, there are 52 million visits to GP surgeries and 3.7 million visits to A&E for issues that could be managed at home or in a pharmacy. This has cost the NHS more than £10 billion over the last five years.
The APPG has outlined several recommendations for the strategy, including clearer, more consistent information on self-treatable conditions; a system-wide approach to improving health literacy; a switch in the NHS funding model away from ‘care and repair’ and towards prevention; and compulsory health education for children.
Bob Blackman MP, co-chair of the Group, said that low health literacy “must be addressed urgently if we are to see positive improvements in how people look after their health and how they use health services”.