General Health Advice

There are some minor illnesses which we can all treat ourselves, but sometimes we don’t know how long they should last of when to ask for help.

Here’s a handy list of some of the main illnesses and what you can expect:

Middle-ear infection 4 days

Have plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids

Ask a pharmacist to recommend medicines to help your symptoms

Fever is a sign the body is fighting infection and usually gets better by itself. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can help reduce fever

If symptoms persist, please contact your pharmacist or GP

For further advice on self-care, please visit: and

Sore throat 7 days
Common cold 10 days
Sinusitis 18 days
Cough or bronchitis 21 days
Upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting 2 days


Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines and are able to diagnose and offer treatment for a range of minor illnesses and ailments immediately, without the need to make an appointment. They are open long hours, at weekends and evenings and there are many pharmacies on the local high street and in supermarkets.

They can give advice, or where appropriate, medicines that can help to clear up the problem and offer a range of branded or non-branded medicines. If you have any questions about the differences between these products they would be happy to talk to you.

Instead of booking an appointment with your GP, you can see your local pharmacist any time by just walking in. Check where your nearest Pharmacists is here.

Know when your GP surgery will be open

You can find the opening hours of your local GP practice below.

If you need to see a GP when the practice is closed, contact the NHS 111 service.

For more information and advice visit NHS Choices.

Make sure you have repeat prescriptions if you need them

If you or someone you care for requires medicines regularly, make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to make sure that you or your family have enough medicine to last. This will be really important over the festive period.

Many of the calls to out of hours health services are for emergency repeat prescriptions when people have run out of their medication – a situation that could be avoided with some forethought and planning. By thinking ahead for your regular medication you are helping our busy out of hours doctors and nurses.