The Willow Tree Surgery (formerly Orton Bushfield Medical Practice)

01733 371451

Self Care

People are now being encouraged and empowered to look after their own health care where they can for minor ailments.  The aim of this is to drive down NHS costs and free up NHS resources which can instead be directed towards higher risk patients, those with chronic or life threatening conditions and the very young and elderly.  Many minor ailments such as coughs and colds can be treated at home and keeping a well stocked medical cabinet at home is advisable.

Q: Can the pharmacist help with my symptoms?

A:  Here is a poster signposting to the pharmacist for twelve common ailments that people often visit the GP with.

Q: When will I feel better?

A: Here is a helpful guide on how long you can expect the symptoms of cough, colds, sore throat and nasal congestion to last, what you can do to get better and the warning signs to look out for which mean you may need to seek professional help.

Q: Is your medicine cabinet fit for the winter?

A: You can download and print-off the poster below which explains to patients what a well-stocked medicine cabinet should contain:

Also below are some links to information on the CAPCCG’s policy and guidance on Self Care:

CAPCCG Policy on prescribing of medications that are available to purchase

CAPCCG Self Care Fact Sheet 1

CAPCCG Self Care Fact Sheet 2

There are also other NHS Services which you can turn to for help and advice including:

  • NHS Choices
  • Patient UK
  • NHS 111
  • Your local pharmacy
  • Your local Minor Injury Unit (MIU)

Video for Sign-posting patients to the correct service

 Mental Health Self Care

In September a new 24/7 crisis mental health service was launched. By calling 111 and selecting option 2, anyone registered with a GP practice in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can self-refer to these services.

Click on the following link for more information:

YouTube video


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