When shouldn't I visit my GP?
You should not visit your GP for minor ailments. A disproportionate amount of GP time - around one in five appointments - is taken up by people with this type of complaint. This makes it more difficult for people in greater need to get treatment.
Visiting your GP when self-care is the best way to treat an illness or condition wastes time and money. It wastes your time, the GP's time and costs the NHS an unnecessary £2billion each year, which could be better spent on other services.
You should only seek advice from your GP if you have persistent recurring problems that are not getting better with self-care.
Antibiotics will not make you better if you have a virus. They only work on infections caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia or kidney infections, funghi and some parasites. People with some skin complaints, such as moderately severe acne, may also be prescribed antibiotics.
Most colds, coughs and sore throats will not get better with antibiotics, and cannot be treated by a GP. The only cure is time, but self-care can help ease your symptoms.
Other minor ailments that should be treated at home include:
- back pain
- period pain
- sickness and diarrhoea
- muscle or ligament pulls, strains and twists
For most people, self-care is the best way to treat an illness or bug. This means getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids and taking a recommended dose of over-the-counter fever- or pain-reducing medication.