Self Care - Guidance for Patients


Lots of us will sufferr from a cold, sore throat or other minor illness at some point during the winter and some of us will have flu.

The most common winter illnesses will usually get better without the need to see a doctor. However, If your symptoms persist, or you are at all unsure, always seek advice from your GP, nurse or pharmacist.

Here are some tips to help you keep well and self care through the winter months and many more helpful resources below:

1. Treat yourself at home

Colds, flu and most sore throats do not need antibiotics and you can treat your symptoms at home. Make sure you get lots of rest, drink plenty of water and take pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, if you need them.

Find out what are the essential medicines your medicine cabinet should contain

How to stay well this winter

2. Order repeat prescriptions and book your flu jab in good time

If you take regular medication make sure you order your repeat prescriptions from your GP surgery in good time.

And if you're eligible for a flu jab - it is available free from your GP if you are over 65, pregnant or have a long-term condition such as heart failure, diabetes or respiratory disease.

Children aged two and three can have the vaccine as a nasal spray.

Who should have the flu vaccination and why?

3. Speak to your pharmacist

Your local pharmacy can recognise many common health complaints. They can give advice or, where appropriate, medicines to help you manage the symptoms. If your problem is more serious or you need medical advice, your pharmacist will advise you to contact your GP.

You can also ask your pharmacist what over the counter remedies to keep in your medicine cabinet at home to help get you and your family through the winter months.

Can the pharmacist help with your symptoms?

Find your local pharmacy

4. Check online for information and advice

There is lots of information on the NHS websites about how to keep well, check your symptoms or use self-care to stay healthy and treat common winter illnesses such as colds, sore throats and flu.

Check your health condition and know what to do next

Visit NHS England
Visit Wales