What is self-care?
Self-care means keeping fit and healthy, as well as knowing how to take medicines, treat minor ailments and seek help when you need it.
If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it. Many patients make appointments to see their doctor or nurse, when they could be using a well-stocked medicines cabinet or visiting a local pharmacist to treat their symptoms – and getting the same help or advice a lot quicker.
Self-care is the very best choice you can make for treating very minor illnesses and injuries.
Why is self-care good for you?
Empowering people with the confidence and information to look after themselves when they can, and visit the GP when they need to, gives people greater control of their own health and encourages healthy behaviours that help prevent ill health in the long-term.
In many cases people can take care of their minor ailments, reducing the number of GP consultations and enabling GPs to focus on caring for higher risk patients, such as those with comorbidities (more than one condition), the very young and elderly, managing long-term conditions and providing new services.
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As well as our practice, there are many other local NHS services you can contact for health advice, information or treatment.
Before you do, remember that you can treat many minor ailments such as colds, coughs and indigestion by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home.
We suggest you keep the following:
- Paracetamol and aspirin (children under 16 and people with asthma should not take aspirin)
- Mild laxatives
- Anti-diarrhoeal medicines
- Rehydration mixture
- Indigestion remedy (for example, antacids)
- Travel sickness tablets
- Sunscreen – SPF15 or higher
- Sunburn treatment (for example, calamine)
- Tweezers and sharp scissors
- A thermometer
- A selection of plasters, non-absorbent cotton wool, elastic bandages and dressings
- Keep the medicine chest in a secure, locked place out of reach of small children
- Always read the instructions and use the suggested dose
- Watch expiry dates – don’t keep or use medicines past their sell-by date
- Take all unwanted and out-of-date medicines back to the pharmacy
Click to download our Self-Care Dry Eyes Leaflet