Self care means keeping fit and healthy, as well as knowing how to take medicines, treat minor ailments and seek help when you need it. If you have a long-term condition, self care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.

If you are unwell, remember to make the most of the range of NHS services available to you and choose the right health service for your health needs. 

Before you go to your local A&E, remember that A&E provides vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

Local GP’s in North West Surrey are joining NHS organisations across the country to raise awareness about self care and why it’s important to choose well when accessing local health services.  

Dr Liz Lawn a local GP, said: “Some people go to their GP with a minor ailment because they are unsure how long symptoms last and need reassurance that it isn’t anything more serious. Before booking an appointment at your local surgery, it is worthwhile going to your local pharmacist first.

“Pharmacists are expert healthcare professionals who can explain the normal duration of ailments and give advice on symptom relief. There might even be something you can do for yourself first, especially when it comes to minor ailments such as colds.”

Most people are very capable of looking after themselves most of the time, self-treating when it’s safe and knowing where and when to seek help when they need it.

Information can be found on NHS Ch​oices about how everyone can use self care to improve their health and wellbeing. Fact sheets can also be found on the Self Care Forum.

Self care

Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries. A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.

The pages in this section have lots more information on which illnesses and injuries can be safely managed at home, how to do it and what signs to look out for that tell you it's time to get help from NHS services in your area or at hospital in an emergency.

Follow the links to find the self-care information you need.