Self Care

If you have a cough, cold, headache or other minor ailment try treating yourself at home first. Find out more about treatments for common minor ailments.

Please remember that self-care for common conditions can help free up our GPs’ time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious condition.


Your medicine cabinet

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  • Take all unwanted and out-of-date medicines back to the pharmacy

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: When will I feel better?

A: If you feel better after 4-5 day please seek medical advice

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:

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


NHS 111

Your local pharmacy

Your local Minor Injury Unit (MIU)

Video for Sign-posting patients to the correct service

 As well as our practice, there are many other local NHS services you can contact for health advice, information or treatment.


Date published: 27 October 2023
Date last updated: 31 December 2023