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Call for schools to help improve health literacy rates

Comes as UK's Self Care Week launches

edit-self-care-logo_559x206The UK needs to do more to improve people's understanding of healthcare as part of efforts to reduce pressure on the NHS, according to delegates at the Self Care conference.

One of the ways to achieve this would be to put health education and literacy on the national curriculum – a proposal that received unanimous backing from conference delegates.

The event saw Self Care Forum board member Dr Pete Smith launch the Self Care Forum's manifesto - My Health, My Life - which provides tips on increasing personal engagement with healthcare in order to help shore up the NHS.

Dr Smith noted: “Lifelong learning, empowerment, information and local and national campaigns are the four pillars to literate engaged and empowered individuals.”

The event, which is organised by the Self Care Forum and PAGB, was used as the launch pad for Self Care Week 2014 - unveiled by under-secretary of state for quality Earl Howe.

He said: “Going further on self care is absolutely vital for the sustainability of the NHS and better for patients. It leads to improved patient outcomes, fewer unnecessary consultations and better use of resources.”

He also highlighted the two-way partnership needed between patients and healthcare professionals if the former are to get the information, tools, support and care they need to help improve their health.

Another speaker at the conference, Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, agreed the NHS need to change in order to cope with the escalating demand, placing particular focus on the importance of “reshaping care around the needs, aspirations and capabilities of people”.

An annual national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self care across communities, families and generations, Self Care Week takes place from November 17-23.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

14th November 2014

From: Marketing

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