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Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), a new illness that affects your lungs and airways.
Check if you have coronavirus symptoms
Find out about the main symptoms of coronavirus and where to get medical advice if you think you have them.
What to do if you or someone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus
Advice about not leaving your home (self-isolation) and looking after yourself if you or someone you live with has symptoms.
Testing for coronavirus
Information about testing to check if you have coronavirus.
People at higher risk from coronavirus
Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women.
Coronavirus in children
Advice about symptoms of coronavirus in children, including when to get medical help if your child seems unwell.
Social distancing advice and changes to everyday life because of coronavirus
Advice about avoiding close contact with other people (social distancing), looking after your wellbeing and using the NHS and other services.
Links to more information about coronavirus
Links to government advice, information for health professionals and advice for other parts of the UK.
Water Meadow Surgery31a Red Lion StreetCheshamBuckinghamshire, HP5 1ETTel: 01494 782241
Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that can be easily resolved without a doctor's appointment.
It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete's foot. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.
Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be treated with medicines that are available over the counter.
Your pharmacist can advise on what you might find useful to keep in your medicine cabinet. Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and consult your doctor if the illness continues or becomes more severe.
Pharmacists offer professional free health advice at any time - you don't need an appointment. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses. They can answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. Your local Pharmacist can also advise on healthy eating.
Pharmacists can also advise on health eating, obesity and giving up smoking. Some pharmacists have private areas where you can talk in confidence. They may suggest you visit your GP for more serious symptoms. It is possible to purchase many medicines from the chemist without a prescription. Watch this short video on how you can get the most out of your local pharmacy
NHS Walk-In Centres offer convenient access to a range of NHS services for patients based in England only. You can receive treatment for many ailments including:
NHS Walk In Centres treat around 3m patients a year and have proved to be a successful complementary service to traditional GP and A&E services. Some centres offer access to doctors as well as nurses. However, they are not designed for treating long-term conditions or immediately life-threatening problems.
Major A&E departments assess and treat patients who have serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for emergencies, such as:
If you're injured or seriously ill, you should go, or be taken, to A&E. If an ambulance is needed you can call 999, the emergency phone number in the UK. You can also dial 112, which is the equivalent for the European Union.
Major A&E departments offer access 365 days a year and usually open 24 hours a day. Be aware that not all hospitals have an A&E department.
Acute diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and affects almost everyone from time to time. A common cause in both children and adults is gastroenteritis, an infection of the bowel.
Bouts of diarrhoea in adults may also be brought on by anxiety or drinking too much coffee or alcohol. Diarrhoea may also be a side effect of a medication
NHS Symptoms, causes, treatment and information
Macmillan Cancer Support Diarrhoea as a result of cancer treatments
To save them on your computer, right-click on any of the links below and then click 'Save Target As..." . Click on any of the links below to play the audio files:
Burns - Explains the immediate treatment for burns and scalds.
Fits - How to deal with fits (convulsions/seizures) in adults and young children.
Wounds - Immediate actions for wounds, bleeding, and bleeding associated with fractures.
Unconscious patient who is breathing - How to deal with an unrousable patient who IS breathing (includes recovery position)
CPR for adults - Adults who have collapsed, unrousable and NOT breathing.
CPR for babies - Babies who are unrousable and NOT breathing.
Collapsed patient in detail - Explains the complete scenario including checks for breathing, circulation, etc.
These files have been prepared by Sussex Ambulance Service and comply with European Resuscitation Council Guidelines.
British Red Cross - First Aid Tips Simple, straightforward and easy to understand first aid tips
St Johns Ambulance St John Ambulance believes that everyone should learn at least the basic first aid techniques.
These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It can cause nasal stuffiness, a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and a cough. Usually it's a self-limiting infection – this means it gets better by itself without the need for treatment.
On average, adults have two to five colds each year and school-age children can have up to eight colds a year. Adults who come into contact with children tend to get more colds. This is because children usually carry more of the virus, for longer.
In the UK, you’re more likely to get a cold during the winter months although the reasons why aren’t fully understood at present.
For most people, a cold will get better on its own within a week of the symptoms starting without any specific treatment. However, there are treatments that can help to ease your symptoms and make you feel more comfortable. These are available from your pharmacy, which means that you can treat yourself, rather than needing to see your GP.
There is no cure for colds. Antibiotics, which treat infections caused by bacteria, don't work on cold viruses.
There are a number of self-help measures that may help to ease the symptoms of a cold.
You should try to make sure you get enough rest if you have a cold. It’s not usually necessary to stay off work or school.
Colds & Flu A factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of colds & the flu
NHS - is it the common cold or the flu? Colds and flu can share some of the same symptoms (sneezing, coughing, sore throat) but are caused by different viruses, and flu can be much more serious. Find out
Factsheet - Common ColdInformation about the diagnosis, treatment and symptoms of the common cold
DISCLAIMER: This is general advice only and NOT a substitute for seeing your doctor. If you have any further concerns please seek attention from your GP.
Advice is available from your pharmacists or calling NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or your doctor.
Many common illnesses and accidents can be treated at home without needing to see a doctor. We hope that you will find the following advice helpful. If you are uncertain as to what to do or are worried please ask us for advice. We do have standard advice leaflets available for the conditions mentioned below. If you would like a copy of one of these please ask the receptionists for the relevant patient information leaflet.
AntibioticsFirst, a note on these commonly prescribed and powerful medicines. They only work on bacteria and are without effect on viruses. Unfortunately, this means that they will not help the common infections, like coughs, colds and flu, at all. The correct treatments are the simple remedies outlined below and we only use antibiotics when they fail and we suspect that there is a secondary bacterial infection. Overuse of antibiotics may lead to their not working in future and more complications like in thrush, skin rashes, sickness and diarrhoea.
BurnsApply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible and maintain this until the pain subsides. This may take as long as 15 to 20 minutes! If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose, dry dressing. If the burn is larger than 4 or 5 inches in diameter or if the skin is broken, consult the nurse as soon as possible.
ChickenpoxOn the first day a rash appears as small red patches about 3-4mm across. Within a few hours of these developing, small blisters appear in the centre of these patches. During the next three to four days? further patches will appear and the earlier ones will turn ?crusty? and fall off. Oily calamine lotion may be applied to soothe the often severe itching. Cool baths may also help. The most infectious period is between two to three days before the rash appears and up to five days after this date. Children may return to school so long as all the spots are crusted over.
Colds and Sinus PainsEven in this day and age there is still no magic cure for the common cold. Stay indoors, take plenty of fluids. If you have a headache or are feverish take paracetamol or ibuprofen. Inhalations with steam and Karvol/menthol crystals/Olbas Oil can help clear the nasal passages. You should be on the mend after seven to ten days and usually better in two weeks. We would only want to see you if you are getting any worse instead of better by then.
CoughsThese can be soothed by a drink made from honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice (full of vitamins) in hot water. If particularly irritating, steam inhalations can be worthwhile. If you bring up coloured phlegm, we may need to check your chest.
DiarrhoeaIn adults diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral infection and is therefore unable to be treated directly. Consult your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than a few days or if you suspect dehydration. Diarrhoea in very young children and babies needs careful attention. Most babies have loose bowel action during their first six months due to their predominantly liquid diet. Taking the baby off solids and feeding Dioralyte or similar medication should treat sudden bouts of unusually watery diarrhoea. Breast-feeding mothers should simply continue breast-feeding. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, or are accompanied by vomiting or weakness, consult your doctor.
GastroenteritisGastroenteritis describes a group of diseases affecting the stomach or part of the intestine. Symptoms are often diarrhoea, sickness and stomach-ache. Because the lining of the stomach is likely to be inflamed, medicines are often immediately vomited up. If nausea or vomiting are present, water or diluted fruit juice which is at room temperature, should be drunk in smaller but more frequent quantities at first (i.e. sip ?little and often?). Drink more clear fluids. Thirst is not always a good guide. Always try to make sure you drink sufficient fluids to replace fluids lost by the diarrhoea. If the symptoms are severe consult your doctor.
Head LiceThese creatures, contrary to popular belief prefer clean hair and are, therefore, not a sign of poor personal hygiene. Medicated head lotion can be obtained from the chemist without prescription. Alternatively, try wet combing using a generous amount of conditioner.
Insect Bites and Stings Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from the chemist without prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms. Note: bee stings should be scraped away rather than ?plucked? in order to avoid squeezing the contents of the venom sac into the wound.
SprainsFirstly apply a cold compress, containing ice if possible or frozen peas, for 5-10 minutes to reduce the swelling. Remove compress for 5-10minutes and then reapply. Ensure that any ice/frozen peas etc. are not applied directly to the skin but within a towel. Apply, firmly, a crepe bandage or tubigrip. This dressing must be removed during the night.
SunburnTreat as for other burns with cold water to remove the heat. Calamine lotion will relieve the irritation whilst paracetamol will also help. Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and great care should be taken to avoid overexposure to the harmful effects of the sun. Everyone should use appropriate sun block especially children. Avoid the midday sun and to remember to cover up when gardening.
We feel it is important that all families should keep a reasonably stocked medical cabinet at home to deal with minor ailments.
Please read the instructions and cautions on the medication before you decide to use them and consult your community pharmacist if in doubt.
Pharmacists can now sell antibiotic eye drops for clear cut cases of uncomplicated conjunctivitis.
Remember all medicines should be stored in a box or cupboard with a lock and kept well out of the reach of children. Always check the expiry dates on medicines.
All these items are available for purchase at your local pharmacy.
Suggested items for such a cabinet are:
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