Self-care is about staying fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when to get advice from your GP or another health care professional.

If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.

Self-care is recommended when you have a minor health condition which doesn’t normally need medical care (from a doctor or nurse) or any treatment in order to get better.

In practice, this means a person decides that they can manage their illness without seeing a doctor.

Visit our NHS Health A-Zwhich lists all common minor ailments to help you self-care correctly.

If you need non-urgent medical advice, which isn't an emergency, you can also contact NHS111 who can provide over the phone advice and refer you to a health care professional if necessary. 

Your medicine cabinet

Make sure that you have the essentials in your medicine cabinet and first aid kit to help treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries.

By keeping a selection of essential medications at home you can treat common conditions in a timely manner and avoid unnecessary trips to see your GP.

Our useful checklist of what to include in a medicine cabinet includes:

  • Pain killers for minor aches and pains such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Antihistamines for dealing with allergies, insect bites and hay fever
  • Oral rehydration salts for fever, diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets
  • Indigestion remedies for stomach-ache and heartburn
  • SPF lotion
  • Tweezers
  • Eye wash with eye bath
  • A first aid kit containing bandages, plasters, a digital thermometer, antiseptic to clean cuts before they're dressed, sterile dressings (for larger injuries to prevent infection until treatment can be given by a health professional) and medical tape (to secure dressings or to tape an injured finger).

Please remember medicines should always be kept well out of the reach of children.