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Self-care is the action you take to improve and maintain your health.
It ranges from simple acts, like eating healthily and exercising, to treating common ailments and managing long-term conditions.
Self-care also means knowing when (and how) you can treat yourself, and when you need advice from a GP or other health professional.
As a rule of thumb, treating yourself is recommended if you have a minor health problem that doesn’t need medical care (from a doctor or nurse, for instance) to get better.
These are often common conditions that you can manage without seeing a doctor, like colds, hay fever, sprains and strains, sore throats, sinusitis, earaches and headaches.
Most people are comfortable managing these everyday conditions without seeing a GP – in fact, about 80% of all care in the UK is self-care.
But, how do you know if your condition is ‘minor’ or ‘common’, and how you should treat yourself?
Well, pharmacists are experts in medicines and can help you with minor health concerns. They’ll suggest treatments and will let you know if you should seek advice from a GP. What’s more, pharmacies are open all day and you don’t need to make an appointment. You may find the What our local Pharmacists can do for you section on this website helpful.
There's also a range of information available to you in Get Health Information section in our own website. Or, you can consult one of the reliable, NHS-approved online resources that are available. These provide a wealth of information on numerous conditions, in addition to treatment advice and guidance on staying healthy.
These resources include apps like the NHS app, HANDi Paediatrics, My Diabetes and My COPD; the MyHealth Devon website and the eConsult online consultation platform, accessible on this website.
I’ll talk about each of these resources in more detail in future articles.
Get an eConsult response
within 24 hours
Medical Care when we are closed
NON-EMERGENCY: Have a look at out "Get health information" page. Alternatively, call 111 for non-urgent medical advice.
MINOR INJURIES: We do not provide a minor injuries service. You should attend A&E or a local minor iunjuries unit. The LIVE WAITING times for these services are listed here.
EMERGENCY: Dial 999 or go to your nearest A&E Department (you must not dial 999 for anything other than an emergency)
If you do need to attend the emergency department at Torbay Hospital please read this leaflet.