Opening Times

Monday 8am-1pm & 2pm-6.30pm
Tuesday 8am-1pm & 2pm-6.30pm
Wednesday 8am-1pm & 2pm-6.30pm
Thursday 8am-1pm
Friday 8am-1pm & 2pm-6.30pm

Minor Illnesses

Self Treatment of Common Illnesses and Accidents
Many appointments are taken up with giving advice on simple self-limiting illnesses that can be treated without contacting the practice. We offer the following advice for you to refer to. The chemist is another excellent source of advice in treating a wide range of minor illnesses.

Antibiotics
There are many different types of antibiotics but these only work on bacteria and have no effect on viruses. Unfortunately, this means that the common infections like most sore throats, coughs, colds and flu will not be helped by antibiotics.

Back Pain
Back pain is a major cause of lost working days in Britain each year. It can often be due to poor fitness and abdominal and back exercises are recommended. Back pain is usually a self-limiting condition. It is sensible to take regular painkillers and remain active. If the pain is not decreasing please make a routine appointment to see the doctor.

Burns
If you burn yourself either place the affected part under cold running water or apply a cold wet towel. If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose, dry dressing. If the burn is larger than four or five inches in diameter or if the skin is broken, make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible.


Catarrh
This is a very common, unpleasant condition. It can result from the after effects of a cold, but some people are just 'catarrhal' and smokers are particularly prone to catarrh. It can present as a continuous, tickling cough, a feeling of something at the back of the throat and/or a sensation of blocked ears. From a doctor's viewpoint it is difficult to treat. Steam inhalation 3-4 times a day (with a menthol preparation dissolved in a bowl of boiling water (be careful!) and a tea towel over the head and inhale) gives the best relief. Nasal sprays can be useful if it is chronic. Decongestant tablets give short term relief but can make the catarrh more prolonged.


Chickenpox
On the first day a rash appears as small red patches about 3mm across. During the next three or four days further patches will appear and the earlier ones will turn 'crusty' and fall off. Cool baths may help.
The most infectious period is from two or three days before the rash appears and up to five days after this date. Children may return to school as soon as the last spots have crusted.


Colds/Flu/Sinus Pain

There is at present no known drug that the doctor can prescribe to clear your cold. Please do not be offended when your doctor does not give you a prescription if you consult him or her for a cold or flu.


There are various preparations you can buy from the pharmacist to relieve symptoms but they will make little difference to the overall duration of the illness which averages 7 to 10 days but can easily extend beyond a fortnight. Almost all 'cold cures' are now unavailable on prescription. This applies even if you are on a pension, a child or get free prescriptions and is because they will not have any effect on the virus or make you better quicker.
If you have asthma you should have been taught in the asthma clinic how to vary your treatment when you have a cold or flu. If you do not know or cannot remember exactly what to do please consult one of our asthma nurses now before you get your next cold

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Coughs
These can be soothed by a hot drink of lemon juice. Many coughs are due to catarrh and steam inhalations three to four times a day will be useful. If you are bringing up a lot of coloured phlegm please see your doctor.


Cuts And Grazes (Minor)
Wash the wound thoroughly with water. To stop bleeding apply pressure to the wound for about five minutes. If you have not had a tetanus booster within the last 10 years please make an appointment to see the nurse.
 

Diarrhoea
In adults diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral infection for which there is no treatment. The pharmacist can advise on treatments aimed at reducing the amount and frequency of the diarrhoea. Consult your doctor if symptoms persist for more than a few days. The main risk with diarrhoea is dehydration and the best way to avoid this is to take frequent small amounts of fluid. If your urine is very concentrated you are not taking enough fluid.


Diet And Lifestyle
Living and eating in an unhealthy way can make you age much more quickly than necessary. Living and eating in a healthy way can prevent many diseases happening in the first place, from colds to cancer. Many people in our practice are fitter and livelier than others 20 years younger.

Simple general advice:
• eat at least five different fruit and vegetables every day
• have a wholegrain cereal every day
• eat four to six slices of wholemeal bread every day
• eating oily fish one to three times a week appears to prevent heart disease
• so does two glasses of red wine a day (alternatives will soon be available for the teetotallers) but drinking to excess will damage you
• eat as wide a variety of different foods as possible (e.g. the Greeks and Chinese live healthier and longer than us with less money spent on health)
• eating a diet high in calories ages you
• do not be boring with your diet!


Exercise
The human race was not designed to commute to an office and then watch TV all night. Everyone should have three periods of 30 minutes' vigorous exercise a week. This applies equally to the elderly and teenagers - not just the middle-aged who are starting to 'spread'.
For the elderly, exercise improves muscle and bone strength keeping you mobile as well as your heart, lungs and arteries healthier. Lack of exercise between the ages of 15 to 24 is associated with a greatly increased risk of having a stroke when older. Exercise should not stop when you leave school!


Gastroenteritis
Symptoms are often diarrhoea, sickness and stomach-ache. Small quantities of water should be taken every 15 minutes to counter the effects of dehydration. Consult your doctor if symptoms are not improving - there is still no treatment but in some cases the Public Health Department may need to be involved.


German Measles (Rubella)
The rash appears during the first day and usually covers the body, arms and legs in small pink patches about 2-4mm across and does not itch. No other symptoms are usually present apart from occasional aching joints. It is infectious from two days before the rash appears, until the rash disappears in about four or five days from that date. The only danger is to unborn babies and, therefore, it is important that all contacts are informed in order that anyone who may be pregnant can contact their doctor. All women should be immunised to prevent this.


Head Lice
These creatures, contrary to popular belief, prefer clean hair and are, therefore, not a sign of poor personal hygiene. Headlice can usually be effectively removed by wet-combing using a specially designed comb, or treated using medicated lotions obtained over the counter from your local pharmacy.


Insect Bites And Stings
Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from the pharmacist without prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms. Antihistamine creams have not been shown to be of any value and may cause reactions in some people.


Nosebleeds
Sit in a chair (leaning forward with your mouth open) and pinch your nose just below the bone for approximately 10 minutes, by which time the bleeding should have stopped. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.


Smoking
If you have followed the advice on Diet And Lifestyle and Exercise you can greatly reduce the benefits by using a substance that overwhelms the body's repair systems, ie tobacco. Cigarettes damage virtually every system in the body and make you age rapidly (look at a smoker's face). If you are still smoking try again to stop. It takes on average six (genuine) attempts. We know it is highly addictive and extremely difficult but please keep trying because tens of thousands of smokers die every year in the UK.


Sprains And Strains
Firstly apply a cold compress, containing ice if possible, for 15 to 30 minutes to reduce the swelling. Apply, firmly, a crepe bandage and give the sprain plenty of rest until all discomfort has subsided which may take weeks.


Sunburn
Treat as for other burns with cold water to remove the heat. Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and great care should be taken to avoid overexposure to the harmful effects of the sun. Use a hat and adequate sunscreen for UVA/UVB protection. Remember Slip (on a hat), Slap (on sun tan cream) Slop (around in a
t-shirt). Sunburn makes children much more susceptible to skin cancer in later life.


Temperatures
A raised temperature (fever) is one of the body's reactions to infection. Fever may give rise to many symptoms e.g. headache, muscle aches and pains and vomiting (especially in children). Children are not good at controlling their temperature smoothly and will look really ill and yet can be running around half an hour later.

Lower a temperature by taking paracetamol e.g. sugar free paracetamol suspension and/or ibuprofen, wearing fewer clothes, turning off central heating, this may relieve the above symptoms.

Suggestions For 'Home Medicine Kit'

Thermometer
Ibuprofen
Soluble aspirin
Antihistamine tablets
Paracetamol
Decongestants (e.g. menthol preparations)
Calpol
Antacids
Strong painkillers
Plasters
Simple dressings
Anti-diarrhoea preparations (e.g. Loperamide)

All of these are available over the counter from the pharmacist who is a qualified medical professional who can give advice on many health matters.