Self Care Guide

Self Care Guidence

For a lot of common illnesses and ailments there are no specific cure and they will be relived with time and simple remedies that can be purchased without prescription. So your gp cannot always prescribe a drug for every problem/ailment.

Dorset HealthCare :: Make the right decision to stay well this winter


Can you treat yourself at home ?

It is useful for households the keep a reasonable well stocked medicine cabinet at home to deal with minor ailments. Remember all medicines should be stored in a box or in a locked cupboard and should be kept well out of reach of children.

Always check the expiry date on medicines and do not keep them for future use, As they will lose their effect or could become dangerous.

Have you spoken to a pharmacist ?

Pharmacists are qualified to dispense not only medications, but can also offer a wide range of advice on common complaints such as Sore Throats/Colds, Aches and Pains/Colds and Flu.

They can answer questions on medications and help you with advice they can also advise if you should see your gp if they cannot help you.

They also can advise and treat the following ailments.

  • Mild acne
  • Coughs/colds
  • Sore throats
  • Flu
  • Cystitis
  • Medication reviews
  • Rashes
  • Mild eczema/dermatitis
  • Earache
  • Emergency contraception
  • Diarrhoea
  • Eye symptoms
  • Hay fever
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Scabies
  • Worms
  • Warts & verrucas
  • And many more

How a pharmacist can help you?


Did you know that £2 billion per year of NHS money is spent with people coming to their surgery with minor ailments and 18% of GP consultations are for minor ailments that do not need to be seen by the GP?

There is a lot more self help and advice at NHS Choices 

You can also seek living well advice from NHS Live well

Have you Tried NHS111?

NHS Symptom Checker

If you’re not sure what condition you have, or how severe it is, you can use the NHS 111 symptom checker. The checker will:

  1. Answer questions about your main symptom.
  2. Help you find out when and where to get help.
  3. Arrange for you to be contacted by a nurse, if needed.

NHS111 Symptom checker

NHS111 is a 24 hour service for health information and advice and is staffed by professional health advisors and nurses.

They offer free confidential advice on what to do if you are ill and provide information on a range of conditions and services, and can put in you in contact with your local health, self help and support organisations and also refer you onwards to you’re out of hours doctors service when your surgery is closed.

Or you can call NHS111 by dialling 111 calls are free from Landlines and mobile phones.

Do you need to seek emergency hospital treatment?

In cases of accidents or illness where there is an immediate risk to life you should attend the nearest A&E Department or call 999 for an ambulance. Follow this route in critical emergencies where there has been major blood loss, severe chest pain or loss of consciousness.


Self-Care Fact Sheets

Minor Injuries Units

Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Horsham Hospital

Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Bognor War Memorial Hospital