Patients can manage their health by asking more questions

People are being reminded that “It’s OK to Ask” during Self Care Week.

The week runs from Monday November 13 to Sunday November 19, and encourages people to get more control of their own health and manage any long term health conditions.

And one of the key messages is that for patients to make sure they ask questions if they are unsure about advice given to them by a doctor, nurse or any other health professional.

They should ask questions until they are happy that they have and understand all the information they need.

There are three basic questions everyone needs to know the answer to once they have finished an appointment:

1. What is my main problem?

2. What do I need to do?

3. Why is it important to do this?

Dr Steve Fawcett, Medical Director for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said: “Self Care week is a good opportunity to remind patients that it’s OK to ask GPs and other health professionals questions if there is something they don’t understand or can’t remember.

“We should always try to explain things clearly and if a patient doesn’t understand, we would prefer to be asked to explain. Patients are welcome to ask questions, they can make notes, and they can ask someone to come along to an appointment with them if it helps.”

Pharmacists, too, are more than happy to answer questions about medicines and give advice about health questions that people may have.

Tania Cork, Community Pharmacist and Chief Officer of the North Staffordshire and Stokeon-Trent Local Pharmaceutical Committee said: “It is very much OK to ask pharmacists to explain more about the medicines you are taking or how and when to take them. That way you are more likely to use your medicines correctly.

“It’s also OK to ask your pharmacist for advice on general health and they can help you to look after yourself and your family if you have minor illnesses or injuries.”