Self care aware

Self Care Aware

This section of our website provides links to self care websites, advice on common conditions and links to other services.

Self Care Aware promotes self care across communities, families and generations.

Or which provides lots of useful health related information.

The Minor Injuries Unit based at the Princess Of Wales Hospital in Ely can also treat many common illnesses.

Dental – If you have dental problems please do not contact the surgery. Contact details for emergency dental care are available here.

Eyes – If you have a recent problem with your eyes such as sore eyes, red eyes or visual disturbance, you can be assessed and treated by the Minor Eye Conditions Service. 

Hay Fever – We are now having to comply with Cambridge & Peterborough CCG policy on prescribing of medicines that are available for purchase therefore we are no longer able to routinely prescribe medications to treat hay fever on prescription. Please see the leaflet available here.

Joint Emergency Team – JET is an urgent two-hour response service that supports people over the age of 50 when they become very unwell and need urgent care, but do not need to go to hospital. Details of the service are available here.

MyHealth App – An app to help Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents find local NHS services available to them has been launched. The “MyHealth Cambridgeshire & Peterborough” app will direct you to your nearest appropriate NHS service. This includes GPs, pharmacies, minor injury units and dentists based on your location or postcode. The app is available to download for iOS via the App Store and for Android via Google Play, and Windows phones via Microsoft Store by searching for “MyHealth C&P CCG”.

Information about antibiotics

Please remember that the great majority of infections such as sore throats, colds, coughs, sickness and diarrhoea, etc., are caused by viruses and that antibiotics simply do not work. Indeed, they can often make things worse by causing diarrhoea, thrush in women or allergic rashes.

Antibiotics are not a cure and should only be prescribed with good reason.

Back Pain

Most back pain can be linked to some physical activity: bending, stooping or lifting. In the majority of cases, it is due to muscle or ligament sprain and requires nothing more than rest for up to 48 hours, preferably lying flat, accompanied by simple pain relief with aspirin or paracetamol.

When the acute pain has subsided, then gentle exercise and massage may help.


This is the most easily recognisable of the childhood illnesses. It usually presents as a few small red spots which become more numerous and then blister. The tops of the blisters come off leaving a scab and the rash burns itself out usually within a week.

The person with chickenpox is infectious until the last spot is dry. Calamine lotion and cool baths help soothe any itching that may be present.

Chickenpox is not normally dangerous, but pregnant women who develop it should seek the advice of their doctor.

Childhood Fever

Every child, or adult for that matter, will develop a fever at some stage. This is most commonly the earliest sign of a viral illness. The child becomes hot, lethargic and miserable and the fever may persist for 48 hours or longer. Symptoms of a cold, sore throat, headache and generalised aches and pains are all very common as well. The child should be kept cool, stripped off and if the temperature is severe either given a lukewarm bath or placed in the draught of a fan.

The mainstay of treatment is simple paracetamol (Calpol or something similar) given regularly every four to six hours for as long as the fever persists. Even then you may find that the child becomes feverish as the next dose is due. Remember hot children need to lose their heat and must not be wrapped up.

Having a fever does not mean that the child cannot go out in the fresh air and in itself does not require a doctor’s visit.


There is still no cure for the common cold. Everyone knows the symptoms and everyone knows that those symptoms eventually get better.

Take paracetamol for any aches and pains and increase your fluid intake.

Diahrroea & Vomiting

These symptoms are usually caused by a viral infection and they are often present together. The great majority of cases will settle down perfectly well by restricting what you have by mouth to clear fluids only and avoiding milky drinks, solid food and dairy produce.

If vomiting is present, then it is better to take small quantities of fluid very frequently. For diarrhoea, adults can take any one of a number of proprietary medicines obtainable from the chemist; in children these should not be given.

Smaller children and babies will probably benefit from Dioralyte sachets which can also be bought from the chemist (these contain essential sugars and salts and can be mixed to make a drink).


Influenza tends to come in epidemics during the winter and can be extremely widespread some years. Genuine flu is a nasty illness to experience and causes high fever, headache, pains in the joints and often backache; there may also be a sore throat.

People with flu need to go to bed, rest, drink plenty of fluids and take regular paracetamol. For those with chronic health problems we offer a flu vaccination service each winter. Keep an eye on the surgery website in early autumn for details of dates.


This is a very fine red rash which can cover much of the body surface. The rash usually disappears in three to four days and the only worry is if the person with German measles comes into contact with pregnant women, particularly during the early stages of pregnancy.

German measles can be dangerous to an unborn child and if you are concerned about a rash in pregnancy, it is safest to contact your doctor.

Healthy Living

Staying healthy is important for everyone, even if you are living with a long-term condition. This means eating healthily, exercising regularly, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation.

Insect Bites

These are obviously much more common in summer and are easily recognised as an itchy red bump, sometimes with a small blister at the centre.

An icepack or a cool bath will provide symptomatic relief but, for persistent itching, antihistamine tablets can be bought at the chemist without a prescription.


Measles is a blotchy red rash over the face and body and is usually preceded by what appears to be a cold and red eyes. Children can get really quite unwell with measles and can develop chest and ear infections. The rash tends to persist for a week to 10 days.

The current vaccination programme is two doses of MMR with the first dose being given at 12-13 months and the second between 3 years 4 months and 5 years. 

The group most at risk is likely to be younger people less than 30 years of age who have not received two doses of MMR vaccine.

Minor wounds

Make sure the wound is thoroughly clean with ordinary tap water. If the wound is persistently bleeding then press a clean handkerchief or dressing firmly over the wound. Most bleeding should stop in 5-10 minutes.

If the wound is very long or gaping, then please consult the Minor Injuries Unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Lynn Road, Ely.


This is an infection of the salivary glands in front and slightly below the ear on each side. It can be quite uncomfortable and the swelling can persist for a week to 10 days.

Remember that German measles, measles and mumps can all be prevented by vaccination and all children should be protected by immunisation.


Lean forward in a chair over a bowl or the sink with your mouth open and pinch the fleshy (soft) part of the nose firmly between thumb and forefinger for at least 10 minutes.

Allow any blood which has trickled down the back of your throat to come out of your mouth into the bowl. In the majority of cases this should do the trick.

Sore throat

This is one of the most commonly seen conditions at the surgery which can generally be treated at home.The great majority of sore throats are due to viruses. Viruses do not respond to antibiotics.

A sore throat may be uncomfortable for several days before the body’s own defences begin to neutralise the virus and recovery takes place. 

Plenty to drink and paracetamol are the treatments of choice; this applies to both adults and children.

Treatment of warts

Warts on the skin can be a long-term problem. They will not disappear until the body’s immune system wakes up to their presence and mounts an attack against the virus that causes them, which can take up to two years.

Available treatments can help speed the natural clearance of warts by irritating the skin and simultaneously stimulating the immune system or destroying the skin in which the virus is living and hopefully coincidentally removing the virus.

The choice of treatment will depend on the number of warts, the sites, the discomfort and nuisance they cause as well as patient preference. No single treatment is guaranteed to work. Each treatment step should be used for a minimum of eighteen weeks before moving to another treatment. Treatment of warts in one area may stimulate an immune response, which will result in resolution of warts elsewhere.

Download information about self-care for wart treatment.