self care for life

We want you to not only feel empowered to take responsibility for your own health, but also informed about what services are available should you require extra support.

Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries. A large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest. This could include treatment for the following:

  • Minor aches and pains
  • Minor sprains, sports injuries, grazed knee and scars
  • Coughs, colds, blocked noses, fevers and sore throat
  • Hangover

Below are some other top tips to help you take care of yourself:

  1. Be prepared for most common ailments by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home. Find out what should be included here.
  2. Speak to your local pharmacist - many medicines for minor illness and ailments are avaiable over-the-counter.
  3. Get your flu jab during the winter season. You may be entitled to a free one - ask your GP or pharmacist for details
  4. Keep active to stay physically and mentally well
  5. Be mindful that sometimes symptoms can last longer than you think - sore throats can last an average of eight days
  6. Don’t forget, antibiotics don’t work on sore throats, coughs or colds

Visit the NHS website to find what lifestyle changes you can make in order to take care of yourself and find out what works best for you.

Remember, if you’re not sure whether you need to go to A&E, call NHS 111 first.

Self Care Fact Sheets

Below you can find guidance to help you take care of the most common ailments in a series of fact sheets written by the Self Care Forum. 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.

Useful Links


Silvercloud: Online Mental Health Support

man looking at tablet device

If you are looking for extra support with your mental health you can log on to Silvercloud - our free secure online self-help programme that is proven to help with anxiety, stress and depression.

Access is immediate and free No GP referral needed and you complete the programmes online at your own pace and at a time which is convenient for you.

Why choose online support?

Access is immediate with no GP referral required. You can log onto the system from your computer, smart phone or tablet at any time of the day or night.

This means that you can slot your therapy into a time that suits you, instead of having to attend in person or trying to squeeze sessions into a busy week. You have the freedom to choose to complete your weekly therapy sessions in the environment of your choice and at a time that suits you.

We want you to be able to make the most of your online therapy. To benefit you will need to:

  • Have basic computer and internet skills
  • Access to a computer, tablet or smart phone
  • Be motivated to improve your wellbeing

How does online therapy work?

Programmes consist of informative and interactive modules which you can complete at your own pace to help improve your wellbeing.

A supporter from Mid and North Essex Mind will review your progress over 6 weeks providing feedback and guidance. You will also have access to the session materials, your notes and support feedback for a year after you finish therapy.

The self help modules are easy to use with interactive tools and activities to help you think better, manage your life and live well. The goal of each module is for you to take the information and techniques learned – and to start applying them in your day-to-day life. At regular intervals, your MIND supporter will check your progress and provide feedback and guidance.

You can log on and start using the platform anytime.

Log onto SilverCloud

Your Local Pharmacy


Health on the High Street

Community pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines and can clinically check, prepare and dispense prescription medicines for you.You do not need an appointment to see a pharmacist and they can offer professional healthcare advice and support to maintain and improve your health and wellbeing. Community pharmacists can advise you on the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines for common minor ailments such as:

  • Coughs
  • Colds
  • Minor injuries
  • Tummy troubles
  • Women's health
  • Skin conditions
  • Allergies
  • Aches and pains

There are many other health services that pharmacists and their teams can offer including:

  • Flu vaccinations
  • Emergency contraception 
  • Stop smoking services - stopping smoking
  • Chlamydia screening and treatment
  • Weight management – including advice on healthy eating and physical activity

You can also get support with managing long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease by having blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar tests at your local pharmacy. You will still need regular reviews with your GP, nurse or specialist - pharmacists can advise on when is best to see a GP.

Getting advice from a local pharmacist is the best first step for a minor health concern. But if you think you or your family member are more seriously ill, then a GP or hospital may be more appropriate.

Help and advice day and night

Many pharmacies in mid Essex are open until late and at weekends, which is useful if you feel unwell when your GP practice is closed.

For help with your medicines please click here.

Useful Links

NHS 111

NHS 111 Banner

Call 111 if you need medical help fast but it's not an emergency

NHS 111 makes it easier for people to access health services and medical advice fast. 

Get help online or on the phone

To get help from NHS 111, you can:

  • go to 111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only)
  • call 111

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can:

  • call 18001 111 on a textphone
  • use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service if you’re deaf and want to use the phone service

How NHS 111 works

You answer questions about your symptoms on the website, or by speaking to a fully trained adviser on the phone.

Depending on the situation you’ll:

  • find out what local service can help you
  • be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
  • get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
  • be told how to get any medicine you need
  • get self-care advice

If the NHS 111 advisors think that an ambulance is required, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or community pharmacist in the usual way. For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

If a health professional has given you a specific phone number to call when you are concerned about your condition, continue to use that number.

pdf NHS 111 Easy Read Leaflet (767 KB)

Latest News

Every year almost £2m worth of medicines go unused across mid Essex – help your NHS cut down on this waste

Every year almost £2m worth of medicines go unused across mid Essex – help your NHS cut down on this waste

carton figure through medicines in the bin

NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is launching a far-reaching new campaign which aims to save vital funds for health services by clamping down on wasted medicines.

Called “Your Medicines, Your NHS”, the year-long campaign is designed to raise awareness of the estimated £2 million worth of medicines wasted in Braintree District, Chelmsford City and Maldon District each year.

That funding, if not spent on medication that goes to waste, could pay for:

  • 566 new hips; or
  • 139 more chemotherapy courses for breast cancer; or
  • 61 more community nurses.

The easiest way we can do this is to make sure we ‘Open the Bag’ when a pharmacist gives us our prescribed medicines. That allows us to hand back anything we don't need – and medicines that have not yet left a pharmacy can be reused.

We should also make sure we order only the medicines we will use, as anything we return to a pharmacy after taking it home must be destroyed – even un-opened packs.

Data shows that around half the medication returned to pharmacies has not been opened, which means patients are ordering it but don’t even start to use it.

When patients keep stocks of medicines at home, there is also a safety risk. The medicines may be taken by somebody else, or by the patient without realising they are out of date or been stopped by the doctor.

Paula Wilkinson, Chief Pharmacist for Mid Essex CCG, said: “We are encouraging everyone to reduce medicines wastage. Things can change between putting in your request for repeat medicines and when you collect them. So play your part – ‘Open the Bag’ and hand back any medicines that you don’t need.

“Get involved by making a pledge to support the campaign or joining the conversation on social media using the hashtags #OpenTheBag and #MedicinesWaste.”

To pledge your support for the campaign simply download a pledge and share across Facebook, Twitter and or Instagram tagging @MidEssexCCG and using the hashtags #OpenTheBag and #MedicinesWaste.


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Change in non-emergency patient transport provider in mid Essex

Change in non-emergency patient transport provider in mid Essex

NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) buys non-emergency patient transport to help patients living in the districts of Maldon, Braintree and the City of Chelmsford. A new provider, TASL will be taking over this service on 13 March 2019 until 31 March 2020, allowing for the future service to go through a full procurement for mid and south Essex as a whole. The contract of the current provider ERS Medical is due to end on 12 March 2019.

Non-emergency patient transport is an important service for those who cannot attend hospital, outpatient appointments, community clinics or get home after a hospital admission by other means. NHS-funded transport does not cover journeys to GPs, dentists, pharmacies and opticians.

Rachel Hearn, Director of Nursing, Acute Commissioning Team and Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are working with ERS Medical and TASL to ensure a seamless transfer of services. Patients will still receive the same quality of service and the change in provider should have a minimal impact on users apart from a change in telephone number to book the service. You can find out more about the change by visiting our website, midessexccg.nhs.uk.”

Graham Briggs, Project Director for TASL said: “We have built a strong relationship with Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and look forward to supporting mid Essex patients as we deliver this vital service.”

From 13 March, patients can book using the TASL patient bookings line on: 0808 169 9614.

For any journey before the 13 March, patients should continue to contact the current provider, ERS Medical, on their bookings number: 0333 240 4999.

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Latest News

Every year almost £2m worth ...

NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is launching a far-reaching new campaign which aims to save vital funds for health services by clamping down on wasted medicines. Called “Your Medicines, ...

Read more

Change in non-emergency patient transport ...

NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) buys non-emergency patient transport to help patients living in the districts of Maldon, Braintree and the City of Chelmsford. A new provider, TASL will be taking over this service on 13 ...

Read more

Chelmsford event to support people ...

Diabetes UK and NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are hosting a free event for people with Type 2 diabetes in Chelmsford on Wednesday 13 March. People will learn how to maintain a healthy diet and become more ...

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Who's your Winter Hero?

Who do you know who has gone the extra mile to provide exceptional care this winter? From 4 to 10 March we will be holding the first Winter Heroes Week and it is your chance to give ...

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Syphilis is on the rise ...

  Public Health England (PHE) in partnership with the 12 local authorities across the east of England and the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) have today launched a social media campaign aimed at raising awareness ...

Read more