South Ashford MedicsSt Stephen’s WalkAshford,Kent, TN23 5AQTel: 01233 622474
Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that can be easily resolved without a doctor's appointment.
It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete's foot. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.
Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be treated with medicines that are available over the counter.
Your pharmacist can advise on what you might find useful to keep in your medicine cabinet. Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and consult your doctor if the illness continues or becomes more severe.
Pharmacists offer professional free health advice at any time - you don't need an appointment. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses. They can answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. Your local Pharmacist can also advise on healthy eating.
Pharmacists can also advise on health eating, obesity and giving up smoking. Some pharmacists have private areas where you can talk in confidence. They may suggest you visit your GP for more serious symptoms. It is possible to purchase many medicines from the chemist without a prescription. Watch this short video on how you can get the most out of your local pharmacy
NHS Walk-In Centres offer convenient access to a range of NHS services. You can receive treatment for many ailments including:
NHS Walk In Centres treat around 3m patients a year and have proved to be a successful complementary service to traditional GP and A&E services. Some centres offer access to doctors as well as nurses. However, they are not designed for treating long-term conditions or immediately life-threatening problems.
Major A&E departments assess and treat patients who have serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for emergencies, such as:
If you're injured or seriously ill, you should go, or be taken, to A&E. If an ambulance is needed you can call 999, the emergency phone number in the UK. You can also dial 112, which is the equivalent for the European Union.
Major A&E departments offer access 365 days a year and usually open 24 hours a day. Be aware that not all hospitals have an A&E department.
Acute diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and affects almost everyone from time to time. A common cause in both children and adults is gastroenteritis, an infection of the bowel.
Bouts of diarrhoea in adults may also be brought on by anxiety or drinking too much coffee or alcohol. Diarrhoea may also be a side effect of a medication
NHS Choices Symptoms, causes, treatment and information
Macmillan Cancer Support Diarrhoea as a result of cancer treatments
To save them on your computer, right-click on any of the links below and then click 'Save Target As..." . Click on any of the links below to play the audio files:
Burns - Explains the immediate treatment for burns and scalds.
Fits - How to deal with fits (convulsions/seizures) in adults and young children.
Wounds - Immediate actions for wounds, bleeding, and bleeding associated with fractures.
Unconscious patient who is breathing - How to deal with an unrousable patient who IS breathing (includes recovery position)
CPR for adults - Adults who have collapsed, unrousable and NOT breathing.
CPR for babies - Babies who are unrousable and NOT breathing.
Collapsed patient in detail - Explains the complete scenario including checks for breathing, circulation, etc.
These files have been prepared by Sussex Ambulance Service and comply with European Resuscitation Council Guidelines.
British Red Cross - First Aid Tips Simple, straightforward and easy to understand first aid tips
St Johns Ambulance St John Ambulance believes that everyone should learn at least the basic first aid techniques.
These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It can cause nasal stuffiness, a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and a cough. Usually it's a self-limiting infection – this means it gets better by itself without the need for treatment.
On average, adults have two to five colds each year and school-age children can have up to eight colds a year. Adults who come into contact with children tend to get more colds. This is because children usually carry more of the virus, for longer.
In the UK, you’re more likely to get a cold during the winter months although the reasons why aren’t fully understood at present.
For most people, a cold will get better on its own within a week of the symptoms starting without any specific treatment. However, there are treatments that can help to ease your symptoms and make you feel more comfortable. These are available from your pharmacy, which means that you can treat yourself, rather than needing to see your GP.
There is no cure for colds. Antibiotics, which treat infections caused by bacteria, don't work on cold viruses.
There are a number of self-help measures that may help to ease the symptoms of a cold.
You should try to make sure you get enough rest if you have a cold. It’s not usually necessary to stay off work or school.
Colds & Flu A factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of colds & the flu
NHS Choices - is it the common cold or the flu? Colds and flu can share some of the same symptoms (sneezing, coughing, sore throat) but are caused by different viruses, and flu can be much more serious. Find out
Factsheet - Common ColdInformation about the diagnosis, treatment and symptoms of the common cold
If you have hay fever
If you have asthma
In the heat
In the cold
People who have breathing problems or heart problems are at increased risk of illness when the temperature plummets.
In general, to reduce your risk of illness try to:
Straying healthy is not just about being physically well. Evidence suggests there are 6 steps we can all take to help us feel better and protect us against anxiety and depression.
Connect with the people around you, your family; friends, colleagues and neighbours.
Take a walk, go cycling or play an active game of some description e.g. football. Do some gardening or take up dancing. Find an activity you enjoy and make it part of your life.
Be aware of present moment, including your feelings and thoughts, your body and the world around you. This "mindfulness" can change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
Learning new skills can give a sense of achievement and new confidence - as well as being fun. Why not sign up for that cooking course, start music lessons or figure how to fix your bike?
Give to others
Even the smallest act counts, whether its a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering in your community can help build you new social networks too.
Look after your community and the world. Make small changes to your life that will reduce the energy you use. Recycle more, leave the car at home, use low energy light bulbs, small steps to a greener life can make a difference.
Mental Health Matters offers confidential, emotional support and guidance 24 hours a day on:
0800 107 0160 (landline).
03000 330 5486 (mobiles)
Live chat: www.liveitwell.org.uk
Most everyday illnesses are best treated at home. people generally start to feel better after 2 days with a tummy bug, and after a week with a cough, cold or sore throat.
Plenty of fluids and rest will help. If you have young children, make sure you have the right medicines for their age group.
If you have a cough or cold, use tissues for coughs as well as sneezes. Capture and bin the tissues and then wash your hands.
If you have a stomach bug or a cold, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
If you live on your own, let a friend know you if you feel ill.
Wash your hands often so as not to spread germs.
Check your medicine cabinet has:
Remember: antibiotics are NO use against colds, sore throats, tummy bugs or flu.
Please don't ask your GP for them or visit A&E in these circumstances.
If you are not getting any better, you are feeling worse or you are worried dial NHS 111.
Urinary tract infections are a common cause of illness in older people but are not always easy to spot.
Look out for the symptoms of:
For these symptoms contact your GP or phone NHS 111.
Sickness and diarrhoea are symptoms of novovirus or winter vomiting disease.
Medical advice is to stay at home and drink frequent small sips of fluid to avoid dehydration.
Wash your hands often and clean surfaces to avoid infecting others in your household.
Please do not visit hospitals or care homes if you are unwell.
Waiting for 48 hours after you are better will avoid spreading illness to those least able to fight it off.
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