The Department of Health is celebrating Self Care Week with a display in the foyer at Noble’s Hospital as well as using the annual event to launch a request for entries to help develop the Island’s new ‘Health-e Directory’. An integral part of daily life, self care is all about individuals taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, with support from the people involved in their care, and in conjunction with health and social care professionals. The Department’s aim in developing a centralised resource in the form of an online directory is to enhance access to self care resources on-Island, making them available from a single, central location for the first time.
Feedback from the Isle of Man’s Self Care Summit, which took place in January 2012, highlighted that there is a wealth of support and services available to the Isle of Man public from both the government and local charities providing anything from emergency care, to incontinence advice and, lunch clubs. It was equally clear, however, that it can be difficult to find out about the services available on the Island as there is currently no single place that holds all the information, with services all too often only being discovered by chance.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said: “The concepts of self care and ill-health prevention are fundamental to the Department’s strategy. Marking Self Care Week is an important way of raising awareness amongst the public, and helps the Department to get the message out about the important role self care plays in wellbeing. Self care is about the actions people take every day in order to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health, meet their social and psychological needs, prevent illness or accidents, and care more effectively for minor ailments and long term conditions. People living with a long term condition can benefit enormously from being supported to self care – so access to that knowledge is vital. Those who learn self care skills can live longer, suffer less pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue, have a better quality of life, and be more active and independent.
“The Department is using Self Care Week to launch a call for entries and information to develop an online self care database for the Isle of Man, called ‘Health-e Directory’. The directory, which will be made available on the Department’s website next year, will provide both the public and healthcare professionals with quick and easy access to a catalogue of advice and support. Detailing the diverse range of services available not only from government but also the Third Sector – such as charitable and voluntary organisations – means that the directory will see an extensive range of self care information accessible from a single location for the first time, creating a ‘one stop shop’. This initiative is a significant step forward in the development of Patient Self Care in the Isle of Man, which the Department has highlighted as one of the key priorities as part of our overall Strategy for Health Services.”
Held annually, Self Care Week is a national awareness week that focuses on supporting and promoting self care across communities and families. It is an opportunity to disseminate the positive work that has already been achieved on-Island in raising the profile and benefits of self care, as well as highlighting future goals for the scheme. There will be a self care information display in the main foyer at Noble’s Hospital between Monday 12 and Sunday 18 November, with some of those involved in the Department’s Self Care initiative, Your Health, Your Way, on hand at the display between 11am and 2pm on Monday 12, to give advice and updates on the work to date.
In addition to Self Care Week, October saw two very successful self care workshops held on the Island, which examined future developments in self care. The sessions were facilitated by Jean Thompson MBE and Jane Cooper who are both directors of ‘Talking Health – Taking Action’, and who between them have a wealth of experience in the development of self care and self management, having also been advisers to the UK NHS.
The workshops were attended by representatives from the Departments of Health and Social Care, as well as representatives from the Third Sector. Cath Quilliam, Director of Community Nursing and the Health Strategy Lead for self care said: “The feedback received from the workshops was extremely positive and I know that staff are keen to develop skills to ensure that self care becomes an integral part of patient and client care planning for the future.”
Those wishing to submit information about self care services and facilities available on-Island for inclusion in the Department’s web based Health-e Directory – such as voluntary and social organisations, clubs, support groups and networks – can complete a form online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/healthedirectory.
To receive a hard copy of the Health-e Directory application form or further information regarding self care please contact Ann Corkill, Senior Nurse for Primary Care at Ramsey & District Cottage Hospital by telephoning 811830, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.