Self Care and Self Help

Coping with common aches and pains

Pain is one of the most common symptoms people consult a doctor about, both in and out of surgery hours as well as attending Accident & Emergency (A&E).  All residents in Herefordshire can access the community pharmacy based "Herefordshire Minor Ailments Scheme" for advice on a number of minor conditions such as hay fever, bites and stings, rashes, athlete's foot.

When should I see a doctor?

Pain is common and most pains will go away or be managed with simple painkillers.  The sort of pain which you should seek a clinical opinion for are those which do not respond to painkillers because of its severity, or less severe pain which goes on for a long time.  If in doubt, contact NHS 111 for free advice and guidance, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Can I take pain relief before seeking medical help?

This is a common question.  Many people think that taking analgesics/painkillers before seeing their doctor or going to A&E will mask the symptoms you are experiencing, but this is simply not the case. Even if you have taken painkillers, a thorough examination can still take place, a diagnosis can be made and any further investigations can be arranged if needed.

Should I take pain relieving medicines before consulting my doctor or going to A&E?

You can take basic analgesics/painkillers at home before you attend A&E or see your doctor to provide you with some pain relief. If you have not taken any painkillers before you are seen it may prove necessary to wait for the first doses of painkillers to work before you can be further assessed. Further analgesics/painkillers can still be prescribed if appropriate for you after an assessment.

Some common complaints can be treated with over the counter medicines

If you have a common condition which can be treated with a medication that is available to buy over the counter from your local pharmacy then you can just visit your pharmacist.

No Prescription Required Information for Patients

Be self-care aware

Speak to your local pharmacist about stocking up on your medicines cabinet to treat common conditions for you and your family

Patient Information Leaflet on Self-Care