NHS commissioners in East Berkshire have joined forces with key partners and local GPs to support this year’s ‘Self Care Week’, which takes place next week (18th-24th November).

A series of public events will be held and commissioners have launched a self care toolkit on their website, which contains an array of useful information and publicity materials for people across Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead, Ascot and Bracknell – https://www.eastberkshireccg.nhs.uk/your-health/self-care-week-2019/

The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Think Self Care for Life’, with the aim of raising awareness that focuses on embedding support for self care across communities, families and generations.

Empowering individuals to self care has many benefits for both short-term and long-term health, especially as people are living longer.

In addition to supporting the annual national awareness campaign’s key messages, commissioners in East Berkshire will be focusing their efforts on five key areas of self care which, if followed, can have a positive impact on individuals’ health. The areas are as follows:

  • Blood Pressure
  • Hydration
  • Flu vaccination
  • Self-Management Courses
  • Mental Health and Loneliness

Dr Martin Kittel, Bracknell GP and self care lead, said: “Good self care is crucial to maintaining good health and well-being. It requires time, patience, understanding and appreciation of the benefits that it brings to the individual, both short-term and long-term.

“Having your flu vaccination for example, especially if you have a long-term condition, is just one of the ways you can stay well this winter and avoid other health complications arising.

“Checking that your blood pressure is within the normal range (www.nhsevents.info/blood-pressure), either in the comfort of your own home or at your GP practice, is important as high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes if untreated.

“Staying hydrated and consuming the right amount of fluids is also important for our health and well-being. Medical evidence shows that staying hydrated can assist in preventing conditions such as pressure ulcers, heart disease, diabetes, falls and urinary tract infections which can often lead to admissions, confusion and added complications such as falls, fractures and more.

He added: “Self care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. Alternatively, knowing where and when to seek professional help can also be fundamental in helping the way we feel.

“Across East Berkshire, we want to raise the profile of ‘social prescribing’ as part of self care week which is available to all patients free of charge. The aim of the service is to improve patient’s health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services. For example, signposting people who have been diagnosed with dementia to a local dementia support group. Patients can either be referred to the service by their GP or they can alternatively self refer.”


“Self Care week is an ideal opportunity for us to do this, by promoting the various resources, tools and support available across the borough.”

In neighbouring Bracknell, an awareness event organised by Gainsborough Patient Group (PG) will take place at Tesco North Bracknell (Warfield) on Wednesday 20th November (daytime).