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Self-care

First Aid

Do you have a minor open wound such as a grazed knee?
Do you have a hangover?
Do you have a cold, cough or sore throat?

There’s no need to go to the doctor – you can help yourself.

A well stocked first aid kit can help you to deal with minor accidents and injuries at home or when out and about. A basic first aid kit should contain:

• plasters, triangular bandage and two sterile eye dressings

• small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings

• safety pins

• disposable sterile gloves

• tweezers, scissors and sticky tape

• alcohol-free wipes

• thermometer

• skin rash cream

• cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings and antiseptic cream

• painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16) or ibuprofen cough medicine

• distilled water, for cleaning wounds and an eye bath

• cough and flu remedies are good at relieving symptoms and can help you feel better. Speak to your pharmacist who can recommend the best remedy for you and your family.

• with any medicine you have at home, be careful and make sure they are safely stored according to their labels and are within their use-by dates. Be sure to keep your medicines locked and safe from children.

Minor ailments

Some pharmacies run a minor ailment scheme, which means they can supply medicines for certain conditions on the NHS. This is designed to meet an acute need.

If your pharmacy runs a minor ailment scheme that includes eczema, for example, it means your pharmacist can supply medicines for this condition and you'll only pay the standard prescription charge.

If you're exempt from paying prescription charges – because you're under 16 or over 60, for example, or you have a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) – you won't pay for the medicine. Just ask at your local pharmacy.

A pharmacist may refuse to serve someone under the minor ailment scheme if they believe that the person is attempting to abuse the system i.e. using it to stock up on free medications for their children.

Pharmacists also have no obligation to provide branded medication such as Calpol. If there is a cheaper generic version available that is known to be equally effective, it is likely that will be provided instead.

Home medicine cabinet

All of us tend to keep a certain amount of medication, plasters, ointments etc., at home for any minor injuries and illnesses that we might experience and which we can deal with ourselves.

A decent home medicine cabinet will cover first aid needs and also cater for more everyday health problems, as well as any long-term conditions anybody in the household might live with.

As with the first aid kit, the most important thing is that any medication you keep is within its use-by date.

Key areas to consider for your home medicine kit are: 

  • pain relief
  • allergy relief
  • rehydration
  • anti-diarrhoea medication
  • indigestion
  • sun protection

What medicines can you buy over the counter (without a prescription)?

General sales list medicines can be bought from pharmacies, supermarkets and other retail outlets without the supervision of a pharmacist. These are sometimes referred to as over-the-counter medicines.

Over-the-counter medicines include those that treat minor self-limiting complaints people may feel are not serious enough to see their GP or pharmacist about.

For frequently asked questions about medicines, click here.

Where can I find a late opening pharmacy?

Did you know that in England, most of us are within a 20-minute drive or walk to a community pharmacy?

We all know that pharmacies are the place where we go to get medication, but they offer so much more than that.

Your local pharmacist can help you to stop smoking or to help you to make healthy lifestyle changes. By visiting your local pharmacy first, you might be able to save a trip to your GP.

Pharmacy teams are increasingly supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing. They also support self care, so they people can look after themselves and their families without having to go to a GP every time.

Pharmacists and their teams offer healthy lifestyle advice that covers topics such as diet and nutrition, physical activity, losing weight and stopping smoking, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, are a smoker or are overweight.

Click here to find your nearest pharmacy.

Late opening pharmacies in the North East Hampshire and Farnham area include:

Please check closing times before leaving home as times may vary.

Where to get the right treatment?

Emergency Department (A&E) or 999 - Choking. Chest Pain. Blacking Out. Blood Loss. Serious Injury.
GP or Out of Hours Services - Vomiting. Ear Pain. Painful Cough. Toothache. Cuts. Bites. Sprains.
Dentists -  Toothache.
Pharmacist - Diarrhoea. Runny Nose. Upset Stomach. Headache.
Sexual Health Services - Sexual Health Clinics. Early Pregnancy Units
NHS 111 - Flu-like symptoms? Unwell? Unsure? Need Help?
Self Care - Hangover. Grazed Knee. Sore Throat. Cough.

Choose A&E / call 999 only if you need very urgent medical attention. Emergency services are very busy. They should only be used in very serious or life-threatening situations. They should not be used for minor illnesses.

You can make an appointment with your GP practice for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. Call your local surgery during the week to make an appointment.

If you think you need urgent treatment, contact your usual dental practice and ask to be seen as an emergency. If you do not have a regular dentist, you can still get urgent care. Call NHS 111.

Your pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional and can give you advice on common illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them.

Forgotten your pill or had unprotected sex? Maybe you're worried about something? Find your local sexual health clinic and advice at NHS Choices.

Residents in Hampshire and Surrey should call NHS 111 if they need health advice or information or if they have a non-life-threatening health issue and are not sure where to go for treatment.

The easy-to-remember three digit number, which is free to call, replaces NHS Direct and should be called if medical help is needed fast but it's not a 999 emergency.

More information available on www.nhs.uk/111

For minor wounds, coughs or cold - there’s no need to go to the doctors or A&E – you can help yourself. A well stocked first aid kit can help you to deal with minor accidents and injuries at home or when out and about. 

For more information click on the First Aid or Home medicine cabinet tabs above.

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