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Self-care article

 “Self-care is all about you. It includes knowing about your health and taking simple lifestyle steps to being healthier, including eating healthily, taking regular exercise and dealing with common conditions as well as managing long term conditions effectively. 

Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries. A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest. 

What is self-care? 

Self-care means looking after yourself in a healthy way, whether it’s eating healthily, taking medicine when you have a cold, or doing some exercise. 

How can I self-care? 

Self-care includes the actions you take every day in order to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health, meet your social and emotional needs, prevent and treat illness, and care more effectively for minor ailments. 

Can anyone help me to self-care? 

Your pharmacist can help you to stock up your medicine cabinet with remedies for minor ailments and illnesses. Some useful additions to your home first-aid kit include:

Painkillers for adults and children

Medicines to help with all kinds of tummy upsets

Tweezers and sharp scissors to remove splinters or cut bandages

A thermometer to check for fever

Antiseptic cream

Antiseptic wipes

A range of bandages, plasters, and dressings for minor cuts, sprains and bruises 

Why should I self-care? 

Keeping yourself fit and healthy can help protect you from illnesses like colds, flu and infections. Making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or losing weight can also decrease your chances of getting a serious illness like cancer or heart disease. By caring for yourself, you’re helping to make sure NHS services are available for those that really need them. 

What if I don’t know if I can self-care? 

Advice is available free 24/7 on 111 and your pharmacist can also provide support and guidance.

Practice Survey Reporting

Newport Pagnell Medical Centre
Patient Survey Report 2015

The 2015 patient survey was conducted electronically, through e-mails providing a link to a questionnaire, which was sent out to members of the Patient Reference Group which has 817 members (as of 22 December 2015), and also via the NPMC website.  Survey responses were received from 255 patients.  The results of the survey only reflect the views of this sample, but they provide some useful indications of the situation in the practice as a whole.

The results of the survey can be grouped conveniently under five headings :


This remains a major issue for all GP practices, and much of the questionnaire was devoted to various aspects of access to GPs. When asking how patients normally book appointments, there appears to have been a considerable shift towards online booking (from14% in 2014 to 48% in 2015), and some reduction in phone booking (down from 73% in 2014 to 56% in 2015). Members of the Patient Reference Group are, by definition, online users, but even so this appears to signal a significant change.

Preferences in booking methods follow the same pattern, with 54% now opting for online, as opposed to38% in 2014. Booking nurse appointments (which are not available online) remains much the same as in 2014, with phone bookings accounting for two thirds of the total number.

Getting through on the phone still appears to pose a problem for a number of patients. Only 45% of respondents reported that it was very easy, or fairly easy to get through  (down from 53% in 2014).Using the online booking system, however, was reported to be either very easy, or fairly easy, by 57% of respondents (well up from 25% in 2014). 87% of respondents knew how to access the online system. However, while 78% of patients in the sample  knew that they could telephone on the day for emergencies, a smaller percentage ( 62%) knew about 7-day pre-bookable appointments and 60%  were aware of pre-bookable phone consultations, while only 46% were aware that appointments could be booked five weeks in advance.  


69% of our sample reported that they had been able to speak to a doctor on the same day, or alternatively to make an appointment to see a doctor within a convenient time frame. For those who could not do so (21%), 22% of these said that it was because no appointments were available, and 9% because they were not offered their preferred doctor.

However, 36% of patients in the sample were able to see their preferred doctor always      or a lot of the time, and a further 20% a lot of the time. 76% felt that the doctor whom they saw explained the reasons for a chosen course of action in a way that was  very easy to understand (a slight improvement in what was already a good situation in 2014).

At an earlier stage, we had raised the possibility of contacting a doctor by e-mail, if this were  feasible, and we  asked the same question in 2015. 61% of our respondents said that they would welcome this initiative.


An encouraging 84% of respondents said that the last time they went to reception, they were welcomed with a smile. 84%  used the self check-in machine, which directed them to the right waiting room for 89% of the time.


Questions on confidentiality were new, reflecting recent concerns within the NHS about patient (and data) confidentiality. 94% of respondents said that they were familiar with  the principle of patient confidentiality, and 84% believed that the practice respected their wishes.

                  Other issues

Another new question asked about the use of alternative NHS services when appointments were unavailable. In this sample, very little use of alternative services was recorded: 7% went to a pharmacy, 4% to the Urgent Care Centre, and only 2%  used the 111 service or went to A&E.

If you would like to register for our virtual patient reference group and comment on our services in future, or take part in our patient surveys, please select the Patient Group link on the Patient Information tab on the top of the screen.  This will take you to the registration form.

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