Self Help

Many of the enquiries we receive are about relatively mild health conditions. Often these will resolve with good self-care and treatment available at local pharmacies and supermarkets.

Here we provide information and useful resources on simple, self-care measures and details of appropriate NHS health care services if needed. 

Managing pain at home

We are regularly asked by patients “What can I use for my pain?”. Doctors use the ‘painkiller ladder’ which includes many over the counter medications you might be able to try:

Non-urgent advice: Pain relief medication

This is generalist advice for adults only. If you have been advised NOT to take any of these medicines then please do not do so. Consult your pharmacist for advice.

Speak to your community pharmacist for more information about simple painkillers.

A simple guide to over the counter pain relief for adults

  1. Paracetamol – 500mg (up to 8 a day), 2 tablets four times a day
  2. Add in Ibuprofen – 400mg (one three times a day) in between paracetamol doses
  3. Switch Paracetamol for Co-codamol – 8/500 (up to 8 a day) – continue ibuprofen
  4. Increase Ibuprofen – up to 600mg (one three times a day alternating with co-codamol)
  5. If taking above regularly and still not improving, contact us or another health care professional

If you are using painkillers and your pain is not improving or you are experiencing long-term pain, you are advised to contact us or another health care professional. 

Patients who would like more information about simple painkillers can discuss with their community pharmacist who will be able to share a wealth of information.

Non-urgent advice: Over the counter medication

Following NHS guidelines, we will not usually give you or your child a prescription for over the counter medicines that are already available to buy in a community pharmacy or supermarket – such as paracetamol, Calpol and hay fever antihistamines.

We recommend shopping around for good value painkillers, antihistamines, and cold/flu remedies. Unbranded generic versions of paracetamol, ibuprofen and allergy medication such as cetirizine and loratadine are just as effective as more well-known brands.  Discount stores and supermarkets usually stock these very cheaply.

Advice if your baby or child is unwell

Healthier Together

Most children will get better with simple medications, rest and time. If you are worried, we recommend using Healthier Together

Healthier Together is for parents, young people and pregnant women. Advice is written by doctors, explains what to do to help your child and when you should contact a health care professional.

Download the Healthier Together app at the App Store or Google Play.

Non-urgent advice: Tip

Use our PO15 6JF postcode to link to Meon Health Practice in the Healthier Together app, regardless of which surgery you use.

Think Pharmacy First

Don’t wait for minor health concerns to get worse – think pharmacy first and get seen by your local community pharmacy team.

Your local pharmacist can can help with a range of minor illnesses. The can supply medicines for seven conditions, if appropriate, without the need for a GP appointment or prescription.

Pharmacists have the right clinical training to make sure you get the help you need. Going to your local pharmacy offers an easy and convenient way to get clinical advice on minor health concerns – you don’t need an appointment and you can be seen in a private consultation room.

These conditions include:​

  • earache (aged 1 to 17 years)
  • impetigo (aged 1 year and over)
  • infected insect bites (aged 1 year and over)
  • shingles (aged 18 years and over)
  • sinusitis (aged 12 years and over)
  • sore throat (aged 5 years and over)
  • urinary tract infections or UTIs (women aged 16 to 64 years).

For more information:

Image of a man outside a pharmacy holding his ear. He looks up at a an illuminated sign with the words "This earache is getting worse - PHARMCY". The poster also has wording saying "Think pharmacy first".


If is possible to self-refer yourself for a variety of NHS services without needing a GP appointment.

You can self-refer the following health and support services:

NHS 111

NHS Website

The NHS Health A to Z lists common illnesses, conditions and symptoms and treatments.  Find out how best to treat minor illnesses and injuries including coughs, colds, headaches, hay fever, burns & scalds, cuts, grazes, animal bites, sprains, cold sores and minor head injuries.

NHS 111

If you need medical help now, use NHS 111 online or call 111.

NHS 111 online is for people aged 5 and over. Call 111 if you need help for a child under 5.

Urgent and Emergency Services

Accident and Emergency (A&E) is for serious injuries and life-threatening emergencies only.