ELMMB logo
Facebook logo Twitter logo

Self Care.

What is self care?

Self care is about looking after yourself in a healthy way. It can be anything from brushing your teeth, doing some exercise, managing 
common conditions (also called minor ailments) like headaches, colds and flu or living with a long-term health problem, such as 
asthma or diabetes.
Did you know that one in five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough?
For most people, these common conditions are not serious health problems – you just want to know how to relieve it and you want a 
treatment that acts fast. You also want to know how long you're going to suffer or, what you should do if your symptoms change. 
The good news is that self care can help you manage most of these problems. It may mean you don't have to spend time waiting to
see your GP and can get on with tackling your symptoms. Self care for common conditions can also help free up some of your GP's
time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious condition.
Did you know?
  • One in every five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough.
  • Many patients visits their GP or Accident and Emergency department with common conditions which could have been treated with advice from their community pharmacist.
  • Every time you see a GP it costs the NHS £36 on average
  • A visit to Accident and Emergency can cost up to £130.
How self care helps your local NHS
Many common conditions can be treated at home with the support of your local pharmacy if needed. Over the counter products for 
self care are things like pain relief and cough and cold remedies. These items can be bought from pharmacies, supermarkets and
discount stores without a prescription. You can get them without an appointment or seeing a doctor. They are also often cheaper
this way.
  • You will help ease the pressure on NHS services for common conditions that could be managed at home.
  • You can help free up some of your GP or nurse's time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious or complex condition.
  • You will help to reduce the amount spent by your local NHS on medicines that are available over the counter.
Locally NHS East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen CCG no longer supports the routine prescribing of medications for common
conditions such as acute (short-term) illnesses, minor and/or self-limiting conditions such as headache, coughs and colds. We want to
encourage and empower patients to self care.  
"People have a responsibility to protect their own health, choosing appropriate treatments and managing long-term 
conditions. In many cases people can take care of their minor ailments, reducing the number of GP consultations and allowing GPs 
to focus on caring for more poorly patients, such as those with co-morbidities (more than one illness), the very young and elderly, 
managing long-term conditions and providing new services.
 A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the- counter medicines and plenty of rest."
You can read our position statement here.

Looking after you and your family. How ready are you?

Click here to view the self-care video 
Common Childhood Illnesses & Well-being
<Click Here> to access the resource online or <here> to download the PDF version
Every parent or carer wants to know what to do when a child is ill - use this resource to learn how to care for your child at home, 
when to call a GP and when to contact emergency services.
Most of the problems you will come up against are simply an everyday part of growing up, often helped with a chat with your 
midwife, health visitor or pharmacist. Almost all babies, toddlers and children will get the most common childhood illnesses like 
chickenpox, colds, sore throats and ear infections. While these are not very nice at the time they are easy to treat by your GP or at 
home with the support from a GP or health visitor rather than an unnecessary trip to A&E.
This resource helps point you in the right direction and explains what you can do at home to help, or where you need to go to get 
assistance and advice. It has been put together with help from healthcare professionals. If you are worried you must get further 
advice. Trust your instincts, you know your child better than anybody else.
This resource also contains general welfare information which will help you keep you and your child safe and healthy.
Ask your pharmacist for advice
Your local pharmacist can give you friendly, expert advice on self care of common conditions. They can recommend over-the-counter 
medicines that can help with lots of common conditions. 
Many pharmacies are open during evenings and weekends so you can see your local pharmacist anytime. Just walk in, you don't 
need an appointment. You can have a confidential consultation with the pharmacist in a private area of the pharmacy.
If your condition needs the attention of a GP or another healthcare professional, the pharmacist will recognise this. They will advise 
you to see your GP or the most appropriate healthcare professional.
You can find your nearest pharmacy on the NHS Choices website
Find out more about self care for common conditions
We have produced a series of information leaflets to help you take care of the most common conditions. These provide useful facts 
about your condition, what you can expect to happen, how to help yourself, when you should see your GP and where to find out 
more information. 
Research shows people using these information leaflets felt more able to manage their common condition.
 Self-care Patient information leaflet
Click on the link for the information leaflet you need:
          º     Antihistamines
          º     Athletes Foot 
          º     Conjunctivitis
          º     Cough syrups
          º     Cradle cap 
          º     Decongestants 
          º     Diarrhoea 
          º     Ear wax 
          º     Emollients 
          º     Fungal nail infections 
          º     Head Lice 
          º     Health Supplements 
          º     Indigestion 

          º     Insect bites        

          º      restless legs/ leg cramps                 

          º     Sore Throats 
          º     Sunscreen and Sun Safety 
          º     Teething 
          º     Warts and Verrucas 
For information about what to keep in your medicines cabinet <click here> 

Healthy Start in England

Healthy Start helps you give your family the very best start in life
If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.
This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local retailers. Pregnant women and children over one and 
under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.
The vouchers can be spent on:
  • plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT
  • plain fresh or frozen fruit and veg (fruit and vegetables with no added ingredients), whole or chopped, packaged or loose
  • infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk.
Check if you qualify for Healthy Start
Healthy Start vitamins
Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins. Healthy
Start vitamins are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.
Your midwife or health visitor will be able to tell you where you can swap your coupon for vitamins in your area.
Click here for more information about how you can get Healthy Start vitamins.
All material in this section is aimed at health care professionals, but is information currently held in the public domain, members of the 
 public seeking advice on medicine-related matters are advised to speak with their GP, pharmacist, nurse or contact NHS111 Service
 Email: info.elmmb@nhs.net

Copyright© 2016 East Lancashire Medicines Management Board 

 All rights reserved.  Disclaimer/Terms and conditions