If you need to access a health professional in an emergency between 6.30pm and 8.00am Monday to Friday or during weekends and bank holidays, you should call 111.
Adult self care
Self care is about how you avoid becoming ill, treat common everyday illnesses and seek help when you need it as well as keeping fit and healthy.
Learning to take care of your own health is a good thing as it puts you in control, improves your quality of life and helps you live more healthily.
We want to make sure you know the best place to go in order to get the most suitable treatment, should you encounter a cold or flu, bruise, sprain, minor wound or fracture.
Choosing the right NHS service for your symptoms means you’ll get the treatment you need, in the right place at the right time.
Here's some tips to keep well at home:
- Home medicine kit
There are a range of minor illnesses and injuries that you can treat at home. Stock up your medicine cabinet with over-the-counter remedies to treat minor injuries and illnesses.
Here’s a simple checklist of the most likely items you might need:
- Paracetamol/aspirin tablets
- Paracetamol and ibuprofen syrups – preferably sugar-free for children (never give aspirin to children under the age of 16 and follow the instructions on the packet with other drugs and medicines)
- Decongestants – for those with stuffy noses
- Indigestion remedies, for example, antacid tablets or liquids
- Antiseptic solutions or creams. Solutions are useful for cleaning minor cuts and grazes, but do read carefully, as some solutions need to be diluted in water before use
- Thermometer – preferably the forehead type for children
2. NHS 111
If you need advice fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency and you’re not sure what to do, call 111 for GP out of hours and health care advice that is fast, easy and free. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
When should you use it?
You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it is not a life threatening situation. For less urgent health needs, you should contact your local pharmacist in the first instance.
How does it work?
The NHS 111 service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisors, supported by experienced nurses, who will ask you questions to assess your symptoms. They will then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best.
Visit NHS Choices for more information about NHS 111.
Get answers to hundreds of health questions, including common childhood illnesses at www.nhs.uk 24 hours a day!