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Self Help Guide When Feeling Unwell

Senior doctors and nurses across Manchester are concerned that cold and wintery conditions expected over the next few months could bring real health problems for local people living with illnesses such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer, asthma and other underlying health problems.  Their biggest concern is that city’s GP surgeries and Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments could be inundated with people suffering from common illnesses like coughs and colds that usually clear up by themselves in a few days and don’t need to be treated by a doctor.

The video and chart below will help you choose the right path to take when you are unwell:

This video is available in other languages at

Further advice on what treatment to seek is available from

Self Help Guide

Can You Treat Yourself at Home?

A well stocked medicine cabinet can treat many day to day illnesses. Small doses of paracetamol or ibuprofen for example can treat many common illnesses such as colds, sore throats and coughs. 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 date on medicines and do not keep them for future use, as they lose their effect or become dangerous.

Have You Spoken With Your Pharmacist?

Pharmacists are qualified to dispense not only medicines, but also advice on a range of common complaints such as sore throats, aches & pains, colds and the flu.

They can also answer questions on medications and help you with advice on issues such as healthy eating & quitting smoking. Your pharmacist will be well placed to advise if you should see a GP with your complaint.

Have You Tried NHS 111?

NHS 111 is a 24 hour a day health information and advice service staffed by professional health advisers and nurses. They offer free, confidential advice on what to do if you are ill, and provide information on a range of conditions & services, and can put you in contact with your local health, self-help & support organisations and refer you to your out-of-hours doctors service when your surgery is closed.

Ring NHS 111 by dialling 111. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Do You Need to See a GP or Other Health Professional?

The Vallance Brunswick Group offers a range of NHS services as detailed in our NHS clinics & services section. These include general medical advice and treatment, prescriptions, referral services and a range of tests & immunisations.

Remember to tell your doctor if you have tried or are still taking any self care remedies.

Do You Need a Walk-in Centre or Urgent Treatment Centre?

Before going to A&E consider if you would get the right treatment at an urgent care centre or walk-in centre.

Do You Need to Seek Emergency Hospital Treatment?

In cases of accidents or illness where there is an immediate risk to life you should go to the nearest A&E department or call 999 for an ambulance.

Follow this route in critical emergencies where there has been major blood loss, severe chest pain or loss of consciousness.

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