Building the skills to manage your own health

You can care for many minor ailments with over the counter medication. It is often quicker, cheaper and more convenient to treat yourself at home rather than going to your GP.

It is easy to build up the skills and the knowledge to manage your own health – there are lots of places to go if you need help and support, including:

One in five GP appointments are used for common health complaints such as coughs and colds. Listed below are the top ten conditions, in decreasing order, that make up more than 75% of GP consultations - most of these can be treated at home if you know how to self-care.

  1. back pain
  2. dermatitis
  3. heartburn and indigestion
  4. nasal congestion
  5. constipation
  6. migraines
  7. coughs
  8. acne
  9. sprains and strains
  10. headaches

The Self Care Forum have also developed some useful fact sheets which also have lots of information about the most common health complaints for which you can self-care.

Remember that self-care is not always appropriate for recurring or long lasting episodes. If your symptoms or condition does persist, please seek advice from an NHS service, you can find out which one is best for you here

There is also further information about buying your own medicines for short-term minor illnesses here. 

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