Many minor ailments can be treated at home with no need for medical attention.
GP practices have a role to play in supporting patients and building their confidence to look after their own health, where appropriate.
If people are generally in good health, there is no reason why they can’t look after minor illnesses themselves. In most cases the illness will get better by itself and so an appointment with their GP practice isn’t required. This campaign has been developed to build patients’ knowledge and confidence to look after minor illnesses themselves.
If people have any long term conditions we would generally advise them to still contact their GP practice for advice if they develop a minor illness. This doesn’t need to be with a GP. There are a wide range of health professionals in practices nowadays such as advanced nurse practitioners, physician associates or clinical pharmacists, who are well qualified to advise patients and are often specialists in managing long term conditions. Your practice will be able to advise who will be best to see.
You will find information in this section on the following minor ailments:
Local pharmacists are very knowledgeable about which medicines are best to treat minor illnesses and whether they will conflict with any existing medication you are taking. They can also offer advice on how to
treat common health conditions – and if they think you need to see a GP they will tell you.
Many of us live near a pharmacy and you don’t need an appointment to see them. They are often open in the evenings and at weekends, so they offer fast, convenient support. Most of them also have a private consultation room, so you can have a conversation where other people can’t hear you. If you need it, just ask. Find out more about local pharmacies here.
For advice on treating minor illnesses at any time of day or night, call NHS 111. You can also go online:
One of the best ways to take care of yourself this winter is to make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked. Minor conditions such as colds, coughs and sore throats can be easily treated with supplies you can keep at home. It costs as little as £10 to stock your medicine cabinet and this can make a big difference to your health this winter.
We recommend always having the following items at home: