Self Care and Self Help
If you or your family become unwell with a common health condition you may not always need to see a doctor or get a prescription. There are many ways that you can care for yourself or your family at home, these include, stocking a safe medicines cabinet, following NHS self help guides or by seeking advice from your local pharmacy team.
How do I know where I should go and when?
Remember, if you or your family become unwell with a common health condition you may not always need to see a doctor or get a prescription. Your local pharmacy team are qualified health professionals with the knowledge and skills to help you manage minor health concerns.
Visit our Pharmacy First page for more information.
What else can I do?
NHS UK has a number of guides and support available for a range of common illnesses and injuries, to find out more visit their Health A-Z: www.nhs.uk.
By keeping certain useful medicines at home, you can treat common conditions immediately. The medicines you may want to keep at home could include:
- A painkiller to help treat minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort and fever.
- Indigestion medicines, oral rehydration salts and treatments for constipation and diarrhoea.
- Treatments for seasonal conditions such as colds and hay fever.
- Sunblock and after sun.
- Some basic first aid items would also be useful.
If you have children make sure you also have produce suitable for children.
Speak to your pharmacist for advise on what medicines to keep at home, how to store them safely and how to use your medications. More information on stocking a safe medicines cabinet can be found below.
Ensuring you have a well-balanced, healthy diet will mean most people don’t need to take vitamin supplements or probiotics. If you do wish to take these products to avoid you becoming deficient, you can buy them from a pharmacy, a supermarket or online.
You can also speak to your local NHS Community Pharmacy team who can help with advice on minor, short term conditions - find out more on our Pharmacy First page.
How do I stock a safe medicines cabinet?
There are some everyday medicines that you can stock up on and keep handy in your home - remember to keep these medicines together in a safe place, out of the reach and sight of children.
- If you have children in the house, make sure you have products suitable for children – ask your NHS community pharmacist for advice to ensure you have medicines suitable for their age
- When giving medicines to children check the dose carefully. For liquid medicines, measure the dose with care. Use an oral syringe if the dose is less than 5ml. You can get an oral syringe from your pharmacy
- Children under the age of 16 should not take aspirin or aspirin-based medicines
This list, recommended by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, will help you deal with most minor health problems and illnesses: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/your-medicine-cabinet/