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Self Care

Take control of your health and wellbeing

The NHS website is full of information, tips and tools that can help put you in charge of your own health and wellbeing.  There you will be able to find:

 ‘Ask NHS’ app

  • Download the ‘Ask NHS’ app for free from the Apple Store and Google Play
  • By using the app you can quickly and easily check symptoms 24/7
  • Find local NHS services, including opening times
  •  Get trusted NHS health advice
  • Book GP appointments

Visit your pharmacy for advice

Your pharmacist can help you and your family with lots of health care problems such as coughs and colds, aches and pains, allergies, hayfever and stomach upsets.

NHS 111

If you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, you can call NHS 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser who will direct you to the right service for your needs. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Medicine Cabinet

To support Self Care you should keep an up to date medicine cabinet with essential items such as:

  • painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • antihistamines
  • anti-diarrhoea medicines
  • oral rehydration salts
  • indigestion treatment
  • first aid kit including plasters, bandages & a thermometer

These can all easily be bought at pharmacies and supermarkets and you DO NOT need a doctor’s prescription.


Self-care is recommended when you have a minor condition which doesn’t normally need medical care (from a doctor or nurse) or any treatment in order to get better. In practice this means a person decides that they can manage their illness without seeing a doctor. This may be because they don’t like taking remedies or pills, or because they believe they will recover just as quickly if they stay at home and rest until their illness goes away of its own accord.  Or they may pop out to buy medicines over the counter at a pharmacy.  Either way, ‘self-care’ is something millions of us do every day – for positive and practical reasons.

But what if you feel you need some advice before you are able to self-care? For instance, if you’re not sure if your condition is minor, or one that goes away of its own accord, i.e. a virus, or if you just want advice on how to relieve the symptoms.  The good news is, your local pharmacist can help you.

Local pharmacies provide NHS services in the same way as GP practices – and pharmacists train for five years in the use of medicines before they qualify as health professionals. What’s more, it’s a walk-in service, open all day.

A pharmacist will assess symptoms and consider any long-term conditions, and the medicines that you’re taking, before providing a recommendation. They will either:

  • Support/advise you in your decision to self-care.
  • Sell you an ‘over the counter’ medicine (which doesn’t need a prescription or visit to a GP) that will help relieve symptoms and make you more comfortable.
  • Signpost you to the right medical care if you need it.

This help and advice is available at over 11,000 local pharmacies, without any appointment being needed, within your local area, and often into the evenings.  These are the common conditions that I suggest people can often manage for themselves:

  • Coughs and colds
  • Sprains and strains
  • Sore throat
  • Sinusitis
  • Earache
  • Constipation
  • Headache

If you’re unsure about which conditions you should be managing yourself, or how to manage them, see your local pharmacist.  So I hope you can try to self-care this winter.

Self Care Leaflets

A wide range fo self care leaflets are available to view and download via the Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group website. Please click here to access the leaflets.

Local Services, Let John White Funeral Directors
Local Services, Let John White Funeral Directors