How You Can Help Yourself


Flu - Coughs - Colds and sore throats
These diseases usually get better by themselves and last only a few days. They are commonly due to viral infections. Coughs, colds, sore throats, aches and pains, fevers and nausea all usually improve without any need to see a doctor.

If the symptoms are uncomfortable then you can take simple measures like bed rest, Paracetamol and/or Aspirin, fluids or simple foods.

  • It is best to use Paracetamol for children under 12 years old.
  • Antibiotics are of no benefit in the treatment of common virus infections.

What to do if you have a temperature
A raised temperature often happens even with mild infections like colds or coughs. A normal temperature is 37 degrees centigrade or 98.4 degrees farenheit. People usually know if they have a temperature they feel hot or cold, sweaty or shivery and unwell. Children may be miserable, have no energy or look flushed. Small babies may seem very sleepy and not want to feed.

A higher temperature or fever means the body is fighting the infection. Help it along by drinking plenty of water or weak squash, keeping the room at a comfortable temperature with fresh air circulating, and sponging with cool or lukewarm water. Adults can take Paracetamol tablets and you can give Paracetamol syrup to children under the age of 12 years old.

Contact the GP immediately if the person has a temperature over 40 degrees centigrade or 104 degrees farenheit, if there is a stiff neck, cramps or vomiting, or if a child seems weak and listless or suffers a fit or convulsion.

Gastroenteritis (Diarrhoea with or without vomiting)
This is normally caused by an infection (usually a virus) in the stomach and/or bowel. Diarrhoea (the runs) and vomiting may be unpleasant and uncomfortable but are nature's way of flushing infection out of the system. Unless symptoms are prolonged or very severe, it is usually better not to take any medicines or tablets. These may only interfere with your body's natural responses, possibly 'bottling everything up' which can lead to further problems. The symptoms usually get better by themselves within 24 - 48 hours.

The best remedy is to take sips of plain fluid (water not milk-based), sugar and salt solutions (which you can get over the counter from the chemist) or breast milk for breast fed babies. If the problems continue, or a young baby is affected, the surgery will be pleased to advice on appropriate treatment.

Indigestion and Stomach Ache
Most problems are not serious and are usually caused by indigestion, wind or irregular eating habits. Indigestion is a common complaint and often linked to a known cause - such as unwise eating and drinking. Some people suffer the symptoms more often because of an underlying problem like inflammation of the stomach, an ulcer or hiatus hernia. Whatever the cause, the symptoms are usually quite similar and can be distressing. They may include pain in the upper abdomen, wind, nausea and heartburn. They can often be helped by taking antacids, peppermint, Paracetamol (not Aspirin) and possibly a hot water bottle. If they do not go away and are severe you should seek advice from your doctor.
Coping with Minor Ailments
Cool down the affected area immediately with lots of cold water and continue to do this for at least 10 minutes. If the burn is larger than 4 or 5 inches across, if it is on the face or if the skin is broken, see the nurse at you GP surgery as soon as possible. If the burn is deep, heavily blistered and very painful, or if the skin has turned white or black, go to the nearest Accident and Emergency (Casualty/A&E) department immediately.
Try to stop the bleeding from a minor cut by pressing it, with clean hands, for a few minutes; hold a cut arm or leg up high. If a cut bleeds freely any germs will normally be washed away by the blood. If it is a deep cut and the edges cannot be pulled together, ask for advice at your GP surgery or go to the A&E department. Redness or swelling can be a sign of infection in a cut or graze and you should make an appointment to have it seen at your GP surgery. You may need to have a tetanus injection if you haven't had one for 10 years.

Sprains - Remember: "I C E"
I stands for ice. Pack the sprained area immediately with ice or a bag of frozen peas, wrapped in a cloth, to reduce swelling and speed up the healing process. Keep this on for about 20 minutes.
C means compression. Bind the injured area with an elastic bandage so it is well supported, but not so tight that it restricts blood flow. Re-tighten a few times a day.
E means elevation. Rest the sprained area and keep it held high. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, rest it on a stool that is higher than the chair you are sitting on.

Head Injuries
For a minor knock or bump, put on a cold damp cloth. The person should be taken to see a GP or to A&E without delay if he/she has the following symptoms: vomiting, unconsciousness, double vision, drowsiness or confusion.
Stand behind the person and hug them firmly above the waist, pushing your fist up under their ribs to make them cough up the blockage. For a young child, hold the child upside down and thump on the back.
The Recovery Position
This is a position in which to place a person who is unconscious. Turn the person onto their side with their head turned to one side. Then bring the top leg over so that it is resting on the ground. This will help prevent the person from vomiting or choking.

Warning Signs
The following warning signs may tell you something is wrong and that you should arrange to see your GP:

  • Losing weight (7 pounds or 3 kgs or more) with no obvious reason
  • Feeling thirsty all the time with no obvious reason
  • Feeling more tired or exhausted than usual
  • Losing blood when coughing or vomiting or going to the toilet all the time
  • A change in a mole (change in colour, size, thickness, itching or bleeding)
  • A change in your voice (getting husky or hoarse and staying like that for more than 3 weeks)
  • Indigestion or belching acid, lasting more than a month (especially in people over 45)
  • A change in your breast or nipple.


For more self help tips click here to goto out GP online service.



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Please note from the 1st October 2017, patients can access the surgery on Tuesday afternoons.
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