When contacting the Practice, please ring our new temporary telephone number: Tel 028 66 560701

In case of an Emergency outside Practice working hours (Evenings and Weekends) please Telephone: Out-Of-Hours on 028 71 865195.

Self Treatment

of Common Illnesses and Accidents

Many common illnesses can be looked after without medical help. Here are some guidelines to help you know what to do and when to seek help.

The local pharmacist has a minor ailment list and can dispense items on this without seeing the doctor. 
To see a doctor; phone the receptionist to make an appointment.

Coughs, Colds and Sore Throats

These do not usually need antibiotics in adults or children. Children with symptoms often get swollen glands at the same time. Treatment with Paracetamol and other simple remedies is usually enough. If the symptoms last more than several days, you should make an appointment to see one of the doctors.

Childern With A Temperature

We are aware of how worrying it can be to have a sick child. If you are concerned about your child we will always see him/her the same day at the surgery. We do ask that whenever possible you bring your child to the surgery rather than requesting a home visit. A child will come to no harm being brought to the surgery and can usually be seen sooner. Your co-operation in the matter is greatly appreciated. lt is always wise to keep a supply of children's Paracetamol (Calpol or Disprol) at home, Paracetamol reduces a child's temperature, so should be given four hourly whenever a child has a temperature. In most minor illness in childhood this is the only treatment required. If you are worried about the child, of if the child fails to improve in two to three days it is worth bringing him/her to the surgery for a check.


This is a very unpleasant illness characterised by high temperature, aches and pains. The best treatment is plenty of rest and fluids with Paracetamol to relieve aches and temperature. Antibiotics have no effect.

If you are aged 65 or over or have a chronic health problem (i.e Chronic Respiratory Disease, Chronic Heart Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic Liver Disease, Chronic Neurological Disease, Diabetes, lmmunosuppression, Asplenia or Dysfunction of the Spleen, Pregnant Women), it is advisable that you receive immunisation against influenza annually. Immunisation against influenza is also for all children aged two years of age and over, not yet at primary school.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Vaccination for Pregnant Women

lt is advisable for all pregnant patients to attend for the Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Vaccination from week 16 of pregnancy.

Bed Sores

Bed sores are far easier to prevent than cure. They are caused by prolonged pressure to certain parts of the body when lying in bed for long periods. They can be prevented by encouraging the patient to shift position as often as possible and taking care to smooth out creases in the bottom sheet which could lead to localised irritation. Keep your eyes open for red marks appearing at the pressure points such as knees, elbows, buttocks and hips and if they begin to appear, inform the doctor before they get worse.


You can try instilling a small amount of warm olive oil into the affected ear, decongestants such as Sudafed can also be helpful as earache often occurs with a cold, as a result of catarrh. Paracetamol (e.g. Disprol) may be taken, but if repeated doses are needed every 4 hours or the medication does not work, contact your doctor.

Nose Bleeds

These are common particularly in children. If you lean forward and pinch the nose for up to 10-15 minutes below the bone, the bleeding will stop. Occasionally it will restart even after continual firm pressure, if bleeding still persists contact one of the doctors for further advice.

Burns and Scalds

Remove any clothing from the area and apply lots of cold water. Do not burst any blisters that form. If there is a large area, or if the blisters are broken it may be worth seeing the nurse for a dressing or being seen by one of the doctors.


Sunburn is bad for your skin. Children are especially susceptible to sunburn and great care should be taken to avoid over exposure to the harmful effects of the sun, use of a high factor sunscreen is helpful (please note, this is not available on the NHS). Treat sunburn with cold water to remove the heat. Calamine Lotion will relieve the irritation whilst Paracetamol and an antihistamine will help reduce reaction.


Wash the wound thoroughIy, apply a clean dressing and put on pressure until the bleeding stops. If the wound is gaping or you are worried seek medical advice. Dirty cuts especially may need to be seen and if tetanus immunisation is not up to date, a booster should be given within 24 hours.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting

These are unpleasant symptoms but often resolve spontaneously. Frequent small amounts of clear fluids are best and this can include flat cola drinks or rehydration powders such as Dioralyte and Rehydrat: You can introduce milky drinks or solids once you are feeling better.

Medicines can sometimes help adults with particularly troublesome diarrhoea (e.g. Imodium, available with or without prescription from the Chemist). Certain people may need to see the doctor e.g. small children particularly babies, diabetic patients who are vomiting and anyone who is unwell or has a lot of abdominal pain or prolonged symptoms. A discussion with one of the doctors may help if there is doubt.

Minor Illness

Get the Right Treatment

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.

 Your Local Pharmacist

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.  

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

 Accident & Emergency (A&E)

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:

  • loss of consciousness,
  • pain that is not relieved by simple analgesia,
  • acute confused state,
  • persistent, severe chest pain, or
  • breathing difficulties.

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 diarrhea 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 diarrhea 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

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.


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.

Other Links

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.


Coughs & Colds

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.

Treatment of a cold

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.

  • Drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Steam inhalations with menthol, salt water nasal sprays or drops may be helpful.
  • Vapour rubs may help relieve symptoms for children.
  • Hot drinks (particularly with lemon), hot soups and spicy foods can help to ease irritation and pain in your throat.
  • Sucking sweets or lozenges which contain menthol or eucalyptus may sooth your throat.
  • Gargling with salt water may help a sore throat.

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.

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 Cold
Information about the diagnosis, treatment and symptoms of the common cold



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