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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 for advice, you could save yourself time and trouble. Also 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.
NHS Walk-In Centres offer convenient access to a range of NHS services for patients based in England only. You can receive treatment for many ailments including, infection, rashes, fractures, lacerations, emergency contraception, advice, stomach upsets, cuts, bruises, burns and strains. 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.
Accident Emergency 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. 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.
In adults diarrhoea is usually caused by viral infections which usually show signs of improvement within a few days. The symptoms can usually be eased by the traditional kaolin mixture or by medicines containing codeine. Holiday diarrhoea is often due to bacteria. Again, kaolin mixture can be taken. In both the above cases, consult your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than a few days. Diarrhoea in very young children and babies needs careful attention. Most babies have loose bowel action during their first 6 months due to their predominantly liquid diet. Sudden bouts of unusually watery diarrhoea should be treated by taking the baby off solids and feeding it a solution of a pint of cooled boiled water with a teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, or are accompanied by vomiting or weakness, consult your doctor.
The following advice is a general guide only, if you have any concerns call your doctor.
Small white worms seen in the motion. Suspect if there is scratching around the anus especially at night. Spread by eggs under the nails put in into the mouth. Medicine is available at the chemist. All family members should be treated and be meticulous about hand washing.
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. A child will come to no harm being brought to the surgery. It 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 6 hourly whenever a child has a temperature. In most minor illnesses in childhood this is the only treatment required. If you are worried about your child, or they fail to improve in 2 or 3 days it is worth bringing him/her to the surgery for a check.
On the first day a rash appears as small red patches about 3-4 mm across. Within a few hours of these developing, small blisters appear in the centre of these patches. During the next 3 or 4 days further patches will appear and the earlier ones will turn 'crusty' and fall off.
Oily calamine lotion may be applied to soothe the often severe itching. Cool baths may also help. The most infectious period is from 2 or 3 days before the rash appears and up to 5 days after this date. Children may return to school as soon as the last 'crusts' have dropped off.
Frequent passing of urine which stings or burns suggests cystitis, which is sometimes caused by infection. If drinking plenty of fluids, including bicarbonate of soda, (one teaspoon per glass of water 4 times daily) does not relieve symptoms consult the surgery. Children with these symptoms should always be seen by a doctor.
Especially low back pain is a common ailment often caused by putting undue stresses on the spine. Lifting heavy weights, bad posture and falls are frequent cause of back pain. If you develop back pain it is generally recommended that you keep active. If you need to lie down ensure that you lie on a firm surface. Pain killing sprays, paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets are often helpful in reducing the pain. If the pain does not ease or is associated with leg weakness or incontinence please contact your doctor.
There is no magic cure for the common cold. Go to bed and take plenty of drinks. If you have a headache or are feverish, take Paracetamol and or ibuprofen. Colds and flu are caused by viruses, your own body provides a cure. Antibiotics are ineffective.
Many women have experienced this irritating complaint which is characterised by a white itchy discharge. It can be treated with Clotrimazole an antifungal agent that you can buy from your local pharmacy. Avoiding nylon underwear, bubble bath and soap may reduce the chance of recurrence. If symptoms persist see your doctor
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