Did you know there are 57 million GP consultations a year for minor ailments at a total cost to the NHS of £2 billion, which takes up, on average, an hour a day for every GP? You can treat most minor ailments yourself at home with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Check out the Minor Illness page under "Your Health" on the right-hand menu for more information, or carry on reading.
Choosing the right treatment when you feel unwell
Make the right choice at the right time and you will be able to get the best possible treatment through the NHS.
Westcourt is committed to empowering our patients with the confidence and information to look after themselves when they can, and to visit their GP when they need to. This gives people greater control of their own health and encourages healthy behaviours that help prevent ill health in the long-term. In many cases people can take care of their minor ailments, reducing the number of GP consultations and enabling our doctors to focus on caring for higher risk patients, such as those with comorbidities, the very young and elderly, managing long-term conditions and providing new services.
Around 80% of all care in the UK is self care. The majority of people feel comfortable managing everyday minor ailments like coughs and colds themselves; particularly when they feel confident in recognising the symptoms and have successfully treated using an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine before.
On average, people in the UK experience nearly four symptoms every fortnight, the three commonest being feeling tired/run down, headaches and joint pain and most of these are managed in the community without people seeking professional healthcare.
Despite people’s willingness to initially self-treat, there are still 57 million GP consultations a year for minor ailments at a total cost to the NHS of £2 billion, which takes up, on average, an hour a day for every GP.
Research shows that people often abandon self care earlier than they need to, typically seeking the advice of a doctor within a period of 4-7 days.
Treat Yourself at Home
A well stocked medicine cabinet with help with many common illnesses. Your local Chemist can advise which over-the-counter medicines will help with your symptoms.
We have a number of self-care leaflets, available below, to enable you to see what you can do to help yourself – now and in the future - and when to seek medical help.
Click on the ailment name to download the relevant leaflet.
If you don't have a printer at home, ask your friends or family to print a copy for you.
Ask Your Pharmacist
From sprains to stomach upsets, your local Pharmacist is qualified to give expert advice.
The Self Care Forum
The Self Care Forum was set up in May 2011 to further the reach of self care and embed it into everyday life. They help people take care of themselves, where there is little or no need to visit your GP. We have some of their self care leaflets available above but please visit their website by clicking on the name above for more tips and links.
NHS Choices Symptom Checker
Use the online NHS Choices Symptom Checker tool to check your symptoms and get advice on what to do next. It's faster than phoning and a nurse can call you back for free if required. Click on the name above to be taken directly to the symptom checker.
Minor Injuries Unit
The Park Surgery (01903 734999) has a minor injuries unit, open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm, and you can telephone for an appointment even if you are a patient here.
Westcourt Medical Centre
For vaccinations, prescriptions, medical advice and care, call for an appointment with your GP, practice nurse or at one of our specialist clinics.
The way you access health care information, advice and services on the telephone is changing. You should call the NHS 111 service if you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency. You will be assessed, given advice and directed straight away to the local service that can help you best. Calls to NHS 111 are free from landlines and mobile phones.
A&E / 999
Call 999 or visit A & E for emergencies such as loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, serious accidents or loss of blood.