Self Help

Shore Medical

Common illnesses and self-treatment

Below is a brief guide to some common illnesses and how to treat them:

COLDS

There is still no cure for the common cold. Take plenty of fluids plus aspirin or paracetamol if you have a headache or fever. (NB: Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age.)

DIARRHOEA AND VOMITING

This is a common condition, over 90% of cases being caused by a virus which is cleared by the body naturally. With vomiting, take or give nothing by mouth except clear fluids for at least four hours after vomiting has ceased. Introduce fluids slowly at first. With diarrhoea drink plenty of fluids.
A suitable mixture to drink can be made using one pint of water, two teaspoons of sugar plus a quarter teaspoon of salt. In very young children, if symptoms persist for more than 6 hours, consult your doctor.

BACK PAIN

Back pain causes 13 million working days to be lost in Britain each year. The spine, being made up of 24 fragile bones and associated cartilage and tendons, supports the whole weight of the upper body, and, therefore, it is understandable that it sometimes goes wrong. Because of the complex nature of the spine it is advisable to consult your doctor if back pain persists for more than a few days.
If, as is usual, the pain has been caused by abuse i.e, lifting too heavy weights etc., be sensible and take things easy. Take care to sit as upright as possible with a support for the small of the back. Take aspirin or paracetamol which will not only relieve the pain but also help the inflammation.

BURNS

Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected areas as soon as possible and maintain this until the pain subsides. This may take as long as 15 minutes. If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose, dry dressing. If the burn is larger than 4 – 5 inches in diameter, or the skin is broken, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

STOMACH ACHE

Most attacks are not serious and are usually caused by indigestion or wind. In the case of indigestion, a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in half a glass of water will help. If the pain lasts for more that 8 hours or increases in intensity you should consult your doctor.

SPRAINS

Firstly apply a cold compress, containing ice if possible, for 15 to 30 minutes to reduce the swelling.
Apply, firmly, a crepe bandage and give the sprain plenty of rest until all discomfort has subsided. Further strain will inevitably lead to further swelling and a longer recovery period.

NOSE BLEEDS

Sit in a chair (leaning forward with your mouth open) and pinch your nose just below the bone for approximately 10 minutes, by which time the bleeding should have stopped. Avoid hot drinks or hot food for 24 hours. If symptoms persist consult your doctor.

MINOR CUTS AND GRAZES

Wash the wound thoroughly with water and a little soap. To stop the bleeding apply a clean handkerchief or dressing firmly to the wound for about 5 minutes. Cover with a clean dry dressing.

SUNBURN

Treat as for other burns with cold water to remove the heat. Calamine lotion will relieve the irritation whilst paracetamol will also help. Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and great care should be taken to avoid over exposure to the harmful effects of the sun.

INSECT BITES / STINGS

Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from the chemist without prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms. (nb: Bee stings should be scraped away rather than “plucked” in order to avoid squeezing the contents of the venom sac ito the wound.)

HEAD LICE

These creatures, contrary to popular belief, prefer clean hair and are, therefore, not a sign of poor personal hygiene. Please speak to the Health Visitors who can advise the best treatment.

INFLUENZA

In October every year we offer, completely free, flu vaccinations to our patients. It is strongly recommended for high risk patients eg. those with heart or chest disease, diabetics or those who work in institutions or nursing homes. Please enquire at reception for details.

The power of a healthcare professional’s intervention

Martin from Poole was diagnosed with diabetes in 2017 and walked himself to better health. Fast forward to March this year when he visited his GP after feeling under the weather; his GP recommended he contact us to see how we could help. His story isn’t finished yet, but he’s taken significant steps. Read his story.

Your questions answered

We have several new resources on the Healthcare Professional pages our website to assist you. This video talks you through how we support you and your patients – ideal for introducing new staff to LiveWell. You can order printed LiveWell resources with this form. We’ve created a list of answers to your frequently asked questions. Lastly, we’ve created a tool for you to introduce us to your patient. Learn more about this below.

‘Contact My Patient’

Your interventions and conversations with patients are the gateways for change. Once you’ve started the conversation, we can continue it in the long term. To that purpose, we’ve created the ‘Contact My Patient’ tool. Enter their phone number and/or email address and we’ll send them information on how we can support them instantly. Find ‘Contact My Patient’ by clicking ‘Healthcare Professionals’ on the top left of any page of our website.

LiveWell Dorset in 2.5 minutes

Let’s communicate the benefits of living well to your patients. This short animation can be downloaded and played on your waiting room TV screens, or on your website. Let’s invite Dorset to LiveWell!

Find an activity

Our Activity Finder is Dorset’s source of inspiration and information for new activities. Julia was browsing it one day when she discovered Walking Netball. She’s found a new community; has increased her activity and made big improvements in her lung capacity.

New this summer, activity providers can submit their activity for inclusion on the Activity Finder. Do you know of a local service or group that’s making a difference to Dorset’s health and wellbeing? Please ask them to add their activity!

Here for you

Your local LiveWell Engagement Coordinator is ready to provide support, resources and access into LiveWell. We can provide feedback on the number of referrals and impact of your interventions. We can offer presentations, training and resources for you and your colleagues. Please do get in touch to see how we can help.

LONG TERM CONDITIONS (LTC) ANNUAL REVIEWS

LTC refers to medical conditions that may have an ongoing impact on your health. We recommend that if you have any of these conditions that you have an annual review. Some of these conditions require monitoring with blood tests or other tests such as breathing assessments or urine tests. Reviewing your condition on an annual basis will enable you to check that you are taking the correct medications. By taking responsibility for your medical condition you can help ensure that you are having the best possible care.

What will happen?

During the period April – March each year, we will contact you inviting you to attend for annual review.

If may need a blood test or just a review with a nurse or a GP. Your invitation letter should also give you the correct information as to what kind of appointment you will need.

Please remember to bring any inhalers to your appointment.

Most people with stable conditions will not need to see a GP, but the nurse will advise you if you need to. You are welcome to make an appointment with a GP at any time, but we would ask that you see the nurse first as this helps the process run smoothly and will save you time.

Patients being seen in hospitals or privately

If your condition is being monitored by an NHS hospital or private consultant, this system will not affect you seeing them. You will be called for the blood tests at the surgery and the review with the nurse, who can then give you copies of your results to take to your consultant.

In most cases your GP will prescribe your repeat medications, not your Consultant. Your GP needs to review your blood test results annually to be able to continue prescribing your medications.

This review process is important and we will not be able to continue prescribing repeat medications without it.

Your cooperation in this process will therefore be very much appreciated. We hope that this process will reduce the number of times you need to come to the surgery.

Managing life with a health condition isn’t always easy. We know that understanding and keeping track of medications, treatments, tests and appointments with healthcare professionals are important, but also that a health condition affects our emotions, how we feel about ourselves, our social life, hobbies and day to day routines at home. Feeling confident managing all of that can be a challenge.

At The Shore Partnership,  we have a Self Management Coach and Link Worker as part of our team. Clinical healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses can be really important to help us manage the medical aspects of our health, and Self Management Coaches and Link Workers can help us manage the emotional and practical impact in our day to day life.

The Self Management Coach works with you to help you feel confident about managing your health and its impact on your day-to-day life. Discussions will centre around;

  • Managing pain and fatigue
  • Preparing for appointments
  • Accessing information to understand conditions and treatments
  • Feeling more confident getting out and about
  • Building a network of support around you
  • Accepting and coming to terms with having a health condition

The Link Worker can help you connect to your local community whether its signposting or supporting you to access services. Discussions will centre around;

  • Improving your social support network  and feelings of isolation
  • Information sourcing and gaining confidence to attend groups
  • Identifying any other non-clinical support options that may be of benefit

Our Self Management Coach and Link Worker are part of our team here to support you. Lots of patients and their carers say how hard it is when healthcare professionals only have ten minutes, but health coaches have up to 45 mins for each session to listen to you and support you. Your GP, practice nurse or any member of the reception team can refer you to see a Coach or Link Worker, so if you are interested in this, please mention it to one of the team at The Shore Partnership.

Or to make a self referral please click on the link below;

www.helpandcare.org.uk/services/self-management

Unwell children

Unwell children can often be brought to the surgery. If you have any doubts about bringing your child to surgery, please phone us and the doctor can advise you. The Health Visitors are also available to give advice on young children who are unwell.

Children with a temperature:

Children often have temperatures with viral infections or a cold. It is quite normal to develop a fever as a response to these illnesses. It is wise to keep a supply of paracetamol (Calpol) at home. This reduces the temperature and eases aches and pains. Ibuprofen can be used for infants 3 months + (e.g. Nurofen.)
If the fever fails to respond to paracetamol alone, tepid sponging to the body may also help. Encourage fluids by mouth at all times. If you are worried about your child and wish to be seen by a doctor there is no reason, wrapped up well, that the child cannot be brought to surgery.

Five ways to wellbeing

The following steps have been researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation. Let us know us what you think about them and how you look after your wellbeing on Facebook.

Connect

There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.

It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.

With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.

  • Talk to someone instead of sending an email
  • Speak to someone new
  • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you
  • Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is
  • Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.

Be active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.

But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good – slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.

Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:

  • Take the stairs not the lift
  • Go for a walk at lunchtime
  • Walk into work – perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work
  • Organise a work sporting activity
  • Have a kick-about in a local park
  • Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning
  • Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.

Take notice

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.

Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.

Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.

Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get a plant for your workspace
  • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day
  • Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting
  • Take a different route on your journey to or from work
  • Visit a new place for lunch.

Learn

Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression.

The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.

Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:

  • Find out something about your colleagues
  • Sign up for a class
  • Read the news or a book
  • Set up a book club
  • Do a crossword or Sudoku
  • Research something you’ve always wondered about
  • Learn a new word.

Give

Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research.

Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.

Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.