Self Care

For information on self care, please see the following leaflets:

Instead of receiving over-the-counter products (such as paracetamol or ibuprofen) for short-term, self-limiting conditions (see information below) on prescription, patients will be encouraged to self-care and buy their own from their local pharmacy.


Rather than visiting their GP, most people can take care of themselves when they have a minor ailment through a combination of self-care and over-the-counter medications, which can be bought in supermarkets and shops as well as in pharmacies.


Please note that:

  • There are no plans to limit OTC medicines for people with long-term conditions
  • GPs will be able to prescribe in circumstances of clinical need
  • If symptoms persist, please book a GP appointment


Medicines for Self-Care

The following minor illnesses can be treated effectively and safely using over the counter medicines. Treatment for these conditions is no longer recommended on prescription. You can speak to your local pharmacy for advice.


·       Aches and Pains

·       Athletes Foot

·     Cold Sores

·       Colic

·       Constipation

·     Coughs and Colds

·       Dandruff

·       Diarrhoea

·     Mild Dry Skin

·       Fungal Nail Infections

·       Hayfever and Allergies

·       Headache and Migraine

·       Fungal Skin Infections – Ringworm

·       Sore Throat

·     Conditions which require food substitutes or supplementation without clear clinical need

·       Threadworm

·       Upset Stomach

·     Hemorrhoids (Piles)

·       Heartburn and Indigestion

·       Skin Rashes (Including Nappy Rash)

·       Varicose Veins

·       Teething and Toothache

·       Vaginal Thrush


·       Conditions which require vitamin, health supplements for prevention of deficiencies including complimentary medicines

·       Other skin complaints including acne, sun protection,  birthmarks, facial hair, bruising, tattoos and sweating


There are lots of benefits to self-care:

Expert Advice to Support You

Your local pharmacy can offer expert advice on a wide range of illnesses and you don't need to make an appointment. Your consultation will be confidential and discreet.

Save Yourself Time

There's no need to wait for a GP appointment - a lot of pharmacies are open late and at the weekend.

Save Your GP Time

Choosing to self-care can free up more GP time so they can spend more time with patients with more complex conditions.

Save the NHS money

Many of the items used to treat the conditions above are low cost and available from the pharmacist, and some are even available from your local shops and supermarkets. The money spent on those prescriptions, for minor illnesses, could be spent on treating more serious conditions.

Live Well NHS

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