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Self Care

Many patients make appointments to see their Doctor or Nurse, when they could be using a well-stocked medicines cabinet or visiting a local pharmacist to treat their symptoms – and getting the same help or advice a lot quicker. Self care is the very best choice you can make for treating very minor illnesses and injuries.

Pharmacy First

The Pharmacy provides advice and support to people on the management of minor illnesses and injuries. This service is targeted at people who would otherwise have gone to visit their GP for a minor illness, such as a cough or sore throat. Where appropriate, the Pharmacy may sell over-the-counter medicines to the person to help manage the illness. Pharmacy First aims to improve access and choice for people with a mild sickness, to free up GP appointments used by these patients, and to refer or signpost people to other healthcare professionals as appropriate to their condition.

Patient Information Exchange

The Patient Information Exchange (PIE) is a health information website. There are lots of health resources available to patients and health professionals, but we don’t have access to this information. This may be because the resources aren’t promoted on websites, newsletters or noticeboards. The aim of PIE is to act as a hub for health information. This includes information websites (such as, NHS choices), and information about local patient groups and health-related activities in East Lancashire.

Virtual Ward

Self care can also be an option if you have a long term illness, such as respiratory or heart conditions. East Lancashire have successfully implemented a virtual ward for some patients, where they are cared for by health professionals in their own home, instead of being admitted to hospital Virtual Wards use the same systems, staffing and daily routine of a hospital ward in the community – the difference being is that everything is virtual, there are no physical buildings and patients are cared for in their own homes.  All disciplines of healthcare function together to work towards the aim and reduce delays in assessment and support by providing urgent health and social care.  Case management and emergency care plans are provided and specialist services are brought in as appropriate. The ward promotes self care as it teaches patients to recognise when they need further assistance from health professionals, or if their needs are better suited to receiving care in hospital.