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Information for Patients

Information for Patients

Your Health
Visit the NHS website for your complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get  
help. You can also  find the service you need and book appointments online as well as information about how to apply for a 
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and advice tips on Healthy living. 
 

Choose the right NHS service

What services are available?
If you are feeling unwell but you are not sure where to go for help, then this page might help you decide.
 
Find a service near you  
 

Further in formation about each of the following is available below

Find the right service.png

What is self care?

Self care is about looking after yourself in a healthy way. It can be anything from brushing your teeth, doing some
exercise, managing common conditions (also called minor ailments) like headaches, colds and flu or living with
a long-term health problem, such as asthma or diabetes.
 
Did you know that one in five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough?
For most people, these common conditions are not serious health problems – you just want to know how to relieve it 
and you want a treatment that acts fast. You also want to know how long you're going to suffer or, what you should
do if your symptoms change. 
 
The good news is that self care can help you manage most of these problems. It may mean you don't have to spend 
time waiting to see your GP and can get on with tackling your symptoms. Self care for common conditions can also 
help free up some of your GP's

Did you know?
 
  • One in every five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough.
  • Many patients visits their GP or Accident and Emergency department with common conditions which could have been treated with advice from their community pharmacist.
  • Every time you see a GP it costs the NHS £36 on average
  • A visit to Accident and Emergency can cost up to £130.
How self care helps your local NHS
Many common conditions can be treated at home with the support of your local pharmacy if needed. Over the 
counter products for  self care are things like pain relief and cough and cold remedies. These items can be
bought from pharmacies, supermarkets and discount stores without a prescription. You can get them without 
an appointment or seeing a doctor. They are also often cheaper  this way.
 
  • You will help ease the pressure on NHS services for common conditions that could be managed at home.
  • You can help free up some of your GP or nurse's time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious or complex condition.
  • You will help to reduce the amount spent by your local NHS on medicines that are available over the counter.
Locally NHS East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen CCG no longer supports the routine prescribing of 
medications for common conditions such as acute (short-term) illnesses, minor and/or self-limiting conditions
such as headache, coughs and colds. We want to encourage and empower patients to self care. 
 
"People have a responsibility to protect their own health, choosing appropriate treatments and managing long-term
 conditions. In many cases people can take care of their minor ailments, reducing the number of GP consultations 
 and allowing GPs  to focus on caring for more poorly patients, such as those with co-morbidities (more than 
 one illness), the very young and elderly, managing long-term conditions and providing new services.  A large range
  of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the- counter medicines and plenty of rest."
 
 
Ask your pharmacist for advice
Your local pharmacist can give you friendly, expert advice on self care of common conditions. They can recommend
over-the-counter medicines that can help with lots of common conditions. 
Many pharmacies are open during evenings and weekends so you can see your local pharmacist anytime. Just walk in, 
you don't  need an appointment. You can have a confidential consultation with the pharmacist in a private area
of the pharmacy. If your condition needs the attention of a GP or another healthcare professional, the pharmacist will 
recognise this.  They will advise you to see your GP or the most appropriate healthcare professional.
 
You can find your nearest pharmacy on the NHS Choices website 
Find out more about self care for common conditions
We have produced a series of information leaflets to help you take care of the most common conditions. These provide useful facts 
about your condition, what you can expect to happen, how to help yourself, when you should see your GP and where to find out 
more information. 
Research shows people using these information leaflets felt more able to manage their common condition.

Self-care Patient information leaflet
Click on the link for the information leaflet you need:
          º     Antihistamines
          º     Athletes Foot 
          º     Conjunctivitis
          º     Cough syrups
          º     Cradle cap 
          º     Decongestants 
          º     Diarrhoea 
          º     Ear wax 
          º     Emollients 
          º     Fungal nail infections 
          º     Head Lice 
          º     Health Supplements 
          º     Indigestion 

          º     Insect bites     

          º      restless legs/ leg cramps                 

          º     Sore Throats 
          º     Sunscreen and Sun Safety 
          º     Teething  
          º     Warts and Verrucas 
 
For information about what to keep in your medicines cabinet <click here> 

Ask your pharmacist for advice
Your local pharmacist can give you friendly, expert advice on self care of common conditions. They can recommend over-the-counter 
medicines that can help with lots of common conditions. 
Many pharmacies are open during evenings and weekends so you can see your local pharmacist anytime. Just walk in, you don't 
need an appointment. You can have a confidential consultation with the pharmacist in a private area of the pharmacy.
If your condition needs the attention of a GP or another healthcare professional, the pharmacist will recognise this. They will advise 
you to see your GP or the most appropriate healthcare professional.

You can find your nearest pharmacy on the NHS Choices website 



Pharmacy Services 

Pharmacies can advise and treat a range of symptoms. This can avoid unnecessary trips to the GP or A&E department and save
time. You don't need an appointment and most pharmacies have a private consulting area.
All community Pharmacies offer the following services as part of the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework. [Essential Services] 
 
Dispensing Medicines 
Pharmacies are required to maintain a record of all medicines dispensed, and also keep records of any interventions made which
they judge to be significant.
The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) is also being implemented as part of the dispensing service.
 
Dispensing Appliances 
Pharmacists may regularly dispense appliances in the course of their business, or they may dispense such prescriptions 
infrequently or have taken a decision not to dispense them at all. 
 
Repeat Dispensing 
The repeat dispensing service enables pharmacists to dispense regular medicines to suitable patients who have been issued batch
prescriptions (by their GP) without the involvement of the GP practice at the point of dispensing.
 
Support for Self Care 
Pharmacies are able to help and support people to manage minor ailments and common conditions, by providing advice and 
where appropriate, the sale of medicines, including dealing with referrals from NHS 111.    
Further self-care information is available here  
 
Public Health (promotion of Healthy Lifestyles) 
Each year pharmacies are required participate in up to six campaigns at the request of NHS England. This involves the display and
distribute leaflets provided by NHS England.
 
Disposal of Unwanted Medicines 
Pharmacies are obliged to take back unwanted medicines from patients.
 
Signposting 
Pharmacies are able to help people who ask for assistance by directing them to the most appropriate source of help.
Your local GP surgery provides a wide range of family health services, including:
 
                                                 >     Advice on health problems
                                                 >     Vaccinations
                                                 >     Examinations and treatment
                                                 >     Prescriptions for medicines
                                                 >     referrals to other health services and social services
 
If you want to see a doctor, you'll usually need to make an appointment. Most GP surgeries operate independently and
have their own booking routines. You can still call your GP outside normal surgery hours, but you will usually be 
directed to an out-of-hours service. Alternatively you can call NHS 111 which has been introduced to make it easier
for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. You can call NHS 111 when you need medical help fast but 
it's not an emergency. It is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a 
day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. 
 
For more information click on the links below:
NHS ChoicesGP appointments
NHS ChoicesHow to register with a GP
NHS Choices: Find your nearest GP practice 
 

Minor Injuries Unit

A Minor Injuries Unit  provides treatment for patients with common injuries, such as scalds, burns, cuts, stings, bites, 
and suspected broken bones, which although not life-threatening do still need urgent medical treatment. 
They DO NOT provide treatment for patients with dental problems, breathing difficulties, chest pain, coughs and colds,
headaches, urine infections, rashes, stomach and bowel problems or other general illnesses.  Nor do they provide
treatment for patients unable to get a GP appointment or needing a repeat prescription.
 
In East Lancashire there are two Minor Injuries Units:
                                             Accrington Minor Injuries Unit Accrington 
                                             Victoria Community Hospital Haywood Road 
                                             Accrington BB5 6AS 
                                             Open 7 days a week from 8am until 8.30pm 
 
                                             Rossendale Minor Injuries Unit 
                                             Rossendale Primary Health Care Centre 
                                             Bacup Road 
                                             Rawtenstall BB4 7PL 
                                             Open 7 days a week from 8am until 8pm
 
 
An Urgent Care Centre provides treatment for any illnesses or injuries which aren’t life threatening, but still need 
treating quickly such as:
                  >     minor head injuries 
                  >     suspected broken bones and fractures
                  >     sprains
                  >     cuts and scrapes
                  >     bites
                  >     eye problems
                  >     rising temperatures
 
You don't need a referral from your GP to access the service, you can just drop in. However, this service is not for General
Practice problems where treatment can wait until drop in surgeries are next open or an appointment time is available. 
 
                                             Blackburn Urgent Care Centre
                                             Royal Blackburn Hospital
                                             Haslingden Road
                                             Blackburn BB2 3HH
 
                                              Burnley Urgent Care Centre
                                              Burnley General Hospital
                                              Casterton Avenue

                                              Burnley BB10 2PQ

Accident and Emergency 
The Emergency Department is used to treat people with serious injuries and those in need of emergency, and potentially
life-saving, treatment. The department is sometimes referred to as ‘casualty’ or A&E. The Emergency Department can get
very busy and you may have to wait a long time to be seen if you are not a real emergency.
 
                                             Blackburn Emergency Department
                                             Royal Blackburn Hospital
                                             Haslingden Road
                                             Blackburn BB2 3HH

 

Looking after you and your family. How ready are you?

Click here to view the self-care video 
Stock up your medicine cabinet
To support self care at home you should keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet with essential medicines and products such as:
     >   painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
     >   antihistamines
     >   anti-diarrhoeal medicines
     >   oral rehydration salts
     >   indigestion treatment
     >   first aid kit including plasters, bandages & a thermometer
 
 For the full recommended list visit NHS Choices here  
 
Don’t keep or use medicines after their expiry date. Take them to your local 
 community pharmacy where they can be disposed of safely.
 
Common Childhood Illnesses & Well-being
<Click Here> to access the resource online or <here> to download the PDF version 
 
Every parent or carer wants to know what to do when a child is ill - use this resource to learn how to care for your child at home, 
when to call a GP and when to contact emergency services.
Most of the problems you will come up against are simply an everyday part of growing up, often helped with a chat with your 
midwife, health visitor or pharmacist. Almost all babies, toddlers and children will get the most common childhood illnesses like 
chickenpox, colds, sore throats and ear infections. While these are not very nice at the time they are easy to treat by your GP or at 
home with the support from a GP or health visitor rather than an unnecessary trip to A&E.
 
This resource helps point you in the right direction and explains what you can do at home to help, or where you need to go to get 
assistance and advice. It has been put together with help from healthcare professionals. If you are worried you must get further 
advice. Trust your instincts, you know your child better than anybody else.
This resource also contains general welfare information which will help you keep you and your child safe and healthy.



Ask your pharmacist for advice
Your local pharmacist can give you friendly, expert advice on self care of common conditions. They can recommend over-the-counter 
medicines that can help with lots of common conditions. 
Many pharmacies are open during evenings and weekends so you can see your local pharmacist anytime. Just walk in, you don't 
need an appointment. You can have a confidential consultation with the pharmacist in a private area of the pharmacy.
If your condition needs the attention of a GP or another healthcare professional, the pharmacist will recognise this. They will advise 
you to see your GP or the most appropriate healthcare professional.

You can find your nearest pharmacy on the NHS Choices website 

Healthy Start in England

Healthy Start helps you give your family the very best start in life
If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.
This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local retailers. Pregnant women and children over one and 
under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

The vouchers can be spent on:
  • plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT
  • plain fresh or frozen fruit and veg (fruit and vegetables with no added ingredients), whole or chopped, packaged or loose
  • infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk.
Check if you qualify for Healthy Start

Healthy Start vitamins
Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins. Healthy 
Start vitamins are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.
 
Your midwife or health visitor will be able to tell you where you can swap your coupon for vitamins in your area.
 
Click here for more information about how you can get Healthy Start vitamins.

 

Medicines Waste

NHS East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen CCGs are addressing the growing issue of medicines waste,
which is fast becoming a major concern for the NHS nationally. Medicines that are unused and thrown away 
cost the NHS £300 million of tax payers’ money every year. £300 million pounds of tax payers’ could be 
reinvested in our NHS by preventing medicines waste.

Everyone has a part to play to reduce the waste of medicines.  
How can you help? If everyone makes small changes then together we can make a massive difference to 
reducing medicines waste and looking after our NHS. 

 

Check what medicines you have already at home before you re-order more. 

Medicines can't be re-used  once they have left the pharmacy. Don't request more medicines if you have less than 10 days supply in your medicine cupboard.

Remember don’t tick it if you don’t need it! 

There is no need to worry, the item will not disappear from your repeat prescription. It will still be there next time you need to order your medication.  

Next time you pick up your prescription from the pharmacy check your prescription bag whilst you are still inside the pharmacy.

This means that you can return any unwanted medicines to the pharmacist. You cannot do this once you have left the pharmacy.

Having regular discussions with your pharmacist and GP will mean you get the right help with taking your medicines 

Speak to your pharmacist about booking a Medicines use review, to discuss getting the most from your prescription medicines.

Self Care.

What is self care?

Self care is about looking after yourself in a healthy way. It can be anything from brushing your teeth, doing some exercise, managing 
common conditions (also called minor ailments) like headaches, colds and flu or living with a long-term health problem, such as 
asthma or diabetes.
 
Did you know that one in five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough?
 
For most people, these common conditions are not serious health problems – you just want to know how to relieve it and you want a 
treatment that acts fast. You also want to know how long you're going to suffer or, what you should do if your symptoms change. 
 
The good news is that self care can help you manage most of these problems. It may mean you don't have to spend time waiting to
see your GP and can get on with tackling your symptoms. Self care for common conditions can also help free up some of your GP's
time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious condition.
 
Did you know?
  • One in every five GP visits are for common conditions, such as backache, headache or cough.
  • Many patients visits their GP or Accident and Emergency department with common conditions which could have been treated with advice from their community pharmacist.
  • Every time you see a GP it costs the NHS £36 on average
  • A visit to Accident and Emergency can cost up to £130.
How self care helps your local NHS
Many common conditions can be treated at home with the support of your local pharmacy if needed. Over the counter products for 
self care are things like pain relief and cough and cold remedies. These items can be bought from pharmacies, supermarkets and
discount stores without a prescription. You can get them without an appointment or seeing a doctor. They are also often cheaper 
this way.
  • You will help ease the pressure on NHS services for common conditions that could be managed at home.
  • You can help free up some of your GP or nurse's time, making it easier to get an appointment when you have a more serious or complex condition.
  • You will help to reduce the amount spent by your local NHS on medicines that are available over the counter.
Locally NHS East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen CCG no longer supports the routine prescribing of medications for common
conditions such as acute (short-term) illnesses, minor and/or self-limiting conditions such as headache, coughs and colds. We want to
encourage and empower patients to self care.  
"People have a responsibility to protect their own health, choosing appropriate treatments and managing long-term 
conditions. In many cases people can take care of their minor ailments, reducing the number of GP consultations and allowing GPs 
to focus on caring for more poorly patients, such as those with co-morbidities (more than one illness), the very young and elderly, 
managing long-term conditions and providing new services. 
 A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the- counter medicines and plenty of rest."
 
You can read our position statement here.