Self Help

There are many excellent sources of advice on the internet, for example a simple google search for your symptom. Two sites that are especially useful for patients are NHSDirect and
Some basic advice we offer:

Colds and Flu

These usually start with a runny nose, cough, temperature and aches.  Viruses cause them and antibiotics are of no use in their treatment.
Treatment consists of taking recommended doses of Paracetamol for the temperature and aches and drinking plenty of fluids.  Do not worry if you do not eat for a few days, you will come to no harm.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting

In adults and older children, diarrhoea and vomiting will usually get better on its own.  Treatment consists of replacing the fluid that you have lost and resting the digestive system by having no solids to eat for 24 hours.  Sachets of powders such as Dioralyte and Rehidrat, which can be made into a drink, are available from the chemist.
If the diarrhoea contains blood or there is severe pain or high fever, you should discuss it with your doctor.  Diarrhoea and vomiting in small babies and young children should be treated with caution and the doctor will be happy to see them if the parents are worried.

Backaches and Strains

Many acute strains and sprains will respond to a few days rest and Paracetamol taken for the pain.  Backache will usually respond to a few days gentle mobilisation.  If the symptoms continue, you should consult your doctor.

Pain Leaflet  Pain_pil Jan 2016

Nose Bleeds

Sit in a chair (leaning forward with your mouth open) and pinch your nose just below the bone for about ten minutes by which time the bleeding usually stops. If the bleeding continues consult your doctor.


First apply a cold compress containing ice for fifteen to thirty minutes to reduce the swelling.  Apply a firm crepe bandage and give a sprain plenty of rest until all the discomfort has subsided.

Chicken Pox

On the first day a rash appears with small red spots about 3-4mm wide.  Within a few hours these develop small blisters at the centre.  During the next three or four days further spots will appear and the earlier ones will turn crusty and fall off.
Calamine lotion may be applied to help the itching.  The most infectious period is two or three days before the rash starts.  Children may return to school as soon as the last blisters have crusted.

A Temperature

A temperature occurs commonly even with mild infections.  In small children it is important to stop the temperature rising too quickly and children should be given Paracetamol syrup, which may be bought from the chemist, Clothing should be removed and the child sponged with tepid water or cooled by giving them a lukewarm bath.
If a temperature is very high and does not come down with the above treatment or you are concerned you should consult your doctor.  A child or adult with a temperature will not come to any harm being wrapped up and brought by car or by pram to the surgery.


Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible and maintain this for at least fifteen minutes.  If the burn is greater than 4-5 inches in diameter or the skin is broken you should consult one of the doctors.


These powerful drugs only work on bacteria and are without effect on viruses.  Unfortunately this means that the common infections such as coughs, colds, flu and sore throats will not be helped by them at all.
The correct treatment is the simple remedies outlined above and we only use antibiotics when they fail, and we suspect that there is a secondary bacterial infection.  Otherwise overuse of antibiotics may lead to their not working in future and more complications like thrush, skin rashes, etc.
Many conditions get better on their own and can be treated successfully at home.  Your pharmacist may be able to help you with these and advise about medicines you can buy over the counter.