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'Self-care' looking after you and your family

Self-care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health professional.  

Common conditions and minor ailments such as colds and flu, upset stomachs, and aches and pains are generally not serious health problems for most patients. You can easily treat yourself at home, or with advice from a local pharmacist, helping you to feel better sooner and avoid unnecessary trips to your GP or A&E department.  

The NHS.uk website has a wealth of useful information on self-care support and links to information on specific health conditions, from commonly occurring symptoms to long-term conditions. 

Here are some simple self-care steps everyone can follow: 

Stock up on self-care essentials 

A well-stocked medicine cabinet can be used to treat most minor ailments and should include: 

  • Paracetamol and aspirin, and equivalent syrups (such as Calpol) for children 
  • Mild laxatives to relieve constipation 
  • Re-hydration mixtures for diarrhoea or vomiting 
  • Indigestion remedy 
  • Thermometer to check for fever 
  • Range of bandages, plasters, elastic bandages and dressings 
  • Antiseptic cream 
  • Tweezers and sharp scissors 

All the above are available from your local pharmacy or supermarket at a low cost – no prescription or GP appointment required. Further information on medicine cabinet essentials can be found on the NHS.uk website

Download the NHS App 

The NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.  You can use the NHS App to: 

It’s free and owned by the NHS so you know your personal data is always secure. You The NHS App is available to download on Google Play and Apple app stores. 

Find out more about self-care for common conditions 

The Self Care Forum has produced a series of factsheets to help you take care of the most common conditions. These provide useful facts about your condition, what you can expect to happen, how to help yourself, when you should see your GP, and where to find out more information. 

1. Back Pain 

2. Eczema 

3. Heartburn and indigestion 

4. Fever in children 

5. Constipation 

6. Headache and migraine 

7. Cough 

8. Acne 

9. Sprains and strains 

10. Sore throat 

11. Middle ear infection (otitis media) 

12. Common cold in adults 

13. Sinusitis 

14. Urine symptoms in men 

15. COVID19 Series – Boosting your mood 

16. COVID19 Series – Getting help from your pharmacist 

17. COVID19 Series – Long COVID/ Post COVID Syndrome  


Resources for practices

Self-care Week 2021

A4 Poster (Practise Self-Care For Life)

General Self-care resources

Self-care - GP video

Self-care - Pharmacist Video

When Should I Worry Leaflet

Home Care is Best Poster

Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet

Poster

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