What happens when people give up on self-care?
Despite people’s willingness to initially self-treat, there are still 57 million GP consultations a year for minor ailments at a total cost to the NHS of £2 billion, which takes up, on average, an hour a day for every GP.
Research shows that people often abandon self care earlier than they need to, typically seeking the advice of a doctor within a period of 4-7 days. The main reasons for this are:
• Lack of confidence in understanding the normal progress of symptoms (e.g. a cold can last up to 14 days)
• The perceived severity and duration of symptoms
• Reassurance that nothing more serious is wrong
• A prescription to ‘cure’ the illness, even though the same medicine may be available over-the-counter