First Aid advice and resources

First aid saves lives and knowing what to do in an emergency can make all the difference. First aid is a simple skill, but it has an incredible impact. Everyone should get the opportunity to learn it.

St John Ambulance provides:

South East Coast Ambulance Service provides several MP3 files which can be downloaded free of charge to cover:

Minor ailments

Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that our local pharmacist could resolve.

Pharmacists are trained to recognise many common health complaints such as aches and pains, sore throat, coughs, colds, flu, earache, cystitis and skin rashes.

They can give advice and, where appropriate, medicines that will help clear up the problem. They cannot sell some medicines to treat complaints in the under 16s, pregnant or breast-feeding women.

Your pharmacist will recognise if your problem is more serious and needs the attention of a GP, and therefore will advise you to see your GP instead.

The following items are available to buy over the counter from Community Pharmacies for the treatment of minor ailments:

  • Pain killers: paracetamol, ibuprofen, co-codamol, aspirin
  • Preparations for constipation and haemorrhoids (piles): Anusol® cream/suppositories, senna, lactulose, Fybogel®,  Germoloid® cream
  • Cough cold and flu remedies: nasal/oral decongestants, pholcodeine linctus, simple linctus, paediatric simple linctus
  • Creams for mild eczema & rubefacients: E45®, Epaderm®, Deep Heat®, ibuprofen gel, Algesal®
  • Cystitis: potassium citrate mixture
  • Diarrhoea: rehydration sachets, loperamide capsules
  • Eye infection: chloramphenicol eye drops,
  • Hay fever, allergy, bites & stings: cetirizine, loratadine, beclometasone nasal spray, hydrocortisone 1% cream, chlorphenamine, Otrivine Antistin® eye drops
  • Head lice: malathion aqueous liquid, dimethicone liquid
  • Heartburn & Indigestion: Gaviscon®, ranitidine
  • Oral health: Corsodyl®, Daktarin® oral gel, hydrocortisone pellets
  • Skin & nail infections: clotrimazole, terbinafine, miconazole, aciclovir cold sore cream, Bazuka® verruca treatment
  • Worm infections: mebendazole tablets

(Please note: This list is not exhaustive)

Receptionists trained to speed up access to the right service

In North East Hampshire and Farnham we have worked with our GP colleagues to deliver training to GP practice receptionists to help patients to receive the right care more quickly in connection with a range of minor ailments. You can find out more here.

Home medicine cabinet and First Aid kit

All of us tend to keep a certain amount of medication, plasters, ointments etc., at home for any minor injuries and illnesses that we might experience and which we can deal with ourselves.

A decent home medicine cabinet will cover first aid needs and also cater for more everyday health problems, as well as any long-term conditions anybody in the household might live with. We've put together this handy guide (click on the image on the right)

As with the first aid kit, the most important thing is that any medication you keep is within its use-by date.

Key items to consider for your home medicine kit are:

  • Pain killers such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen. Aspirin must not be given to children under 16 years.
  • Antihistamines for dealing with allergies, insect bites, rashes and hay fever.
  • Anti-diarrhoea medication. Don't give anti-diarrhoeals to children under 12.
  • Rehydration salts for fever, diarrhoea and vomiting to prevent losing water and essential minerals which can lead to dehydration.
  • Indigestion remedies for stomach ache, heartburn or trapped wind.
  • Sunscreen of at least factor 15.

First Aid kit

Do you have a minor open wound such as a grazed knee?
Do you have a hangover?
Do you have a cold, cough or sore throat?

There’s no need to go to the doctor – you can help yourself.

A well-stocked first aid kit can help you to deal with minor accidents and injuries at home or when out and about. A basic first aid kit should contain:

  • plasters, triangular bandage and two sterile eye dressings
  • small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
  • safety pins
  • disposable sterile gloves
  • tweezers, scissors and sticky tape
  • alcohol-free wipes
  • thermometer
  • skin rash cream
  • cream or spray to relieve insect bites and stings and antiseptic cream
  • painkillers such as paracetamol (or infant paracetamol for children), aspirin (not to be given to children under 16) or ibuprofen cough medicine
  • distilled water, for cleaning wounds and an eye bath
  • cough and flu remedies are good at relieving symptoms and can help you feel better. Speak to your pharmacist who can recommend the best remedy for you and your family.
  • with any medicine you have at home, be careful and make sure they are safely stored according to their labels and are within their use-by dates. Be sure to keep your medicines locked and safe from children.

Where can I find a late opening pharmacy?

Did you know that in England, most of us are within a 20-minute drive or walk to a community pharmacy?

We all know that pharmacies are the place where we go to get medication, but they offer so much more than that.

Your local pharmacist can help you to stop smoking or to help you to make healthy lifestyle changes. By visiting your local pharmacy first, you might be able to save a trip to your GP.

Pharmacy teams are increasingly supporting people to improve their health and wellbeing. They also support self care, so they people can look after themselves and their families without having to go to a GP every time.

Pharmacists and their teams offer healthy lifestyle advice that covers topics such as diet and nutrition, physical activity, losing weight and stopping smoking, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, are a smoker or are overweight.

Click here to find your nearest pharmacy.

Late opening pharmacies in the North East Hampshire and Farnham area include:

Please check closing times before leaving home as times may vary.

Where to get the right treatment?

Emergency Department (A&E) or 999 - Choking. Chest Pain. Blacking Out. Blood Loss. Serious Injury.
GP or Out of Hours Services - Vomiting. Ear Pain. Painful Cough. Toothache. Cuts. Bites. Sprains.
Dentists -  Toothache.
Pharmacist - Diarrhoea. Runny Nose. Upset Stomach. Headache.
Sexual Health Services - Sexual Health Clinics. Early Pregnancy Units
NHS 111 - Flu-like symptoms? Unwell? Unsure? Need Help?
Self Care - Hangover. Grazed Knee. Sore Throat. Cough.

Choose A&E / call 999 only if you need very urgent medical attention. Emergency services are very busy. They should only be used in very serious or life-threatening situations. They should not be used for minor illnesses.

You can make an appointment with your GP practice for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. Call your local surgery during the week to make an appointment.

If you think you need urgent treatment, contact your usual dental practice and ask to be seen as an emergency. If you do not have a regular dentist, you can still get urgent care. Call NHS 111.

Your pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional and can give you advice on common illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them.

Forgotten your pill or had unprotected sex? Maybe you're worried about something? Find your local sexual health clinic and advice at NHS Choices.

Residents in Hampshire and Surrey should call NHS 111 if they need health advice or information or if they have a non-life-threatening health issue and are not sure where to go for treatment.

The easy-to-remember three digit number, which is free to call, replaces NHS Direct and should be called if medical help is needed fast but it's not a 999 emergency.

More information available on

For minor wounds, coughs or cold - there’s no need to go to the doctors or A&E – you can help yourself. A well stocked first aid kit can help you to deal with minor accidents and injuries at home or when out and about. 

For more information click on the First Aid or Home medicine cabinet tabs above.

Recovery College

The Recovery College is a college with the aim of improving people’s health and wellbeing.

It also provides people with physical and mental health issues across North East Hampshire and Farnham with the skills to learn how to manage their symptoms and to live meaningful and fulfilled lives.

It offers educational courses and workshops that are aimed at anyone, whether they use health services or care for someone who does.

Anyone over the age of 18 can attend a course, most of which are free of charge.  They take place in community locations such as libraries or colleges, and people can register for courses themselves – they don’t need their GP to refer them.

The courses are delivered in a supportive environment.  If you didn’t get on with the structure of learning at school, you will find the Recovery College a very different and positive experience.

Many courses are written and taught by people with lived experience of physical and mental health difficulties alongside professionals.  The Recovery College offers a caring approach where we can all learn together.

For further information on the Recovery College and to download the course prospectus, please visit the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website.

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