How can I help myself and others?

Help us help you and follow our guide to staying well and our health services in Lincolnshire. Some common minor illnesses such as aches, pains, coughs, and colds can be treated in the comfort of your own home. So make sure to stock up on your medicine cabinet with over-the-counter remedies.

See below for other ways you can stay well and care for yourself or others.

Stay strong with seasonal vaccines

Seasonal COVID-19 vaccines

A spring Covid-19 vaccination campaign has been formally announced. Please keep checking this page for updates – Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccinations in Lincolnshire.

Sunscreen and sun safety

Advice for adults and children on sunscreen and sun safety in the UK and abroad.

Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. Sunburn does not just happen on holiday. You can burn in the UK, even when it’s cloudy. 

Aim to strike a balance between protecting yourself from the sun and getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.

For tips on sun safety for you and your family, visit: Sunscreen and sun safety – NHS (

How to cope in hot weather

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot, there are health risks. During heatwaves, more people than usual get seriously ill. If hot weather hits this summer, make sure it does not harm you or anyone you know.

Tips for coping in hot weather

Keep out of the heat if you can. If you have to go outside, stay in the shade especially between 11am and 3pm, wear sunscreen, a hat and light clothes, and avoid exercise or activity that makes you hotter.

Cool yourself down. Have cold food and drinks, avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks, and have a cool shower or put cool water on your skin or clothes.

Keep your living space cool. Close windows during the day and open them at night when the temperature outside has gone down. Electric fans can help if the temperature is below 35 degrees. Check the temperature of rooms, especially where people at higher risk live and sleep.

You can also get help from the environmental health office at your local council, if you think a hot house is affecting your health or someone else’s. They can inspect a rented home for hazards to health, including excess heat. Find your local council (GOV.UK)

Watch out for signs of heat-related illness

If you or someone else feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Find out about the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and when to get help

Check and stock your medicine cabinet

Whilst you’re out, why not also think about stocking up on medicine cabinet essentials to make sure you’re prepared to self-care?

People often turn up at hospitals with minor illnesses and injuries that could often be better treated more quickly elsewhere, or at home.

Your local pharmacist can offer you free health advice at any time, and no appointment is necessary. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses and answer questions about prescribed and over the counter medicines.

All year round, pharmacists can also advise on healthy eating, obesity and giving up smoking and have private areas where you can talk in confidence.

Check your medicine cabinet and make sure you have the following basics which can all be bought from your local pharmacy or supermarket:

  • Painkillers
  • Cold and flu remedies
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Indigestion remedies
  • Plasters
  • Bandages
  • A thermometer
  • Tissues

If you are already taking other medication, check first with your pharmacist to make sure the medicines are right for you.

Check any medicines you already have to make sure they are still okay to use. If any medicines are past their use-by date, don’t take them and return them to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.

By being prepared to self-care and stocking up on medicine cabinet essentials which can readily be bought from your local pharmacy and supermarket, a lot of people could treat minor illnesses at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor.

Online advice on managing common ailments can be found at

Hand washing

Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from catching viruses and help reduce the pressures on healthcare services.

Washing your hands properly removes dirt, viruses and bacteria to stop them spreading to other people and objects and can help stop the spread of common winter infections. Hand washing is particularly important when you’re visiting someone in hospital or another healthcare setting.

If you do not have immediate access to soap and water, then use alcohol-based hand sanitiser. For more information go to:

Still worried? You can get help and advice

You can get help and advice from:

  • A pharmacy – pharmacies can give treatment and advice for a range of minor illnesses and can tell you if you need to see a doctor
  • Your GP – you may be able to speak to a GP online or over the phone, or go in for an appointment if they think you need to
  • NHS 111 – go to or call 111 if you have an urgent medical problem and you are not sure what to do
  • Download the NHS App – view your GP health record, book and manage appointments, order repeat prescriptions and use NHS 111.

Help for older relatives and friends

Let’s come together and look out for each other, there are plenty of simple, practical things we can do to help each other.

Repeat prescriptions – make sure they get their repeat prescriptions. For those with long-term health problems, taking daily medication is an important part of their treatment, and many are at risk of suffering serious complications, illnesses or hospital stays if medical supplies run out.

If your elderly relative or friend becomes unwell over a bank holiday period or need medical advice when your GP surgery is closed, please Think pharmacy first. GP out-of-hours services can also be accessed through NHS 111 online: Get help for your symptoms – NHS 111 or by calling NHS 111 free of charge.

Make sure they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations – For more information please visit: Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccinations in Lincolnshire.

Ask if they have everything they need – Some people might struggle to get the essentials they need. Why not get extra items for them on your shop, or help with an online shop.

Make sure they attend their GP appointments – It is really important that people attend their scheduled healthcare appointments.

Are they currently in hospital or being discharged from hospital? – visit: Let’s get you home to what matters to you – Lincolnshire ICB for support and guidance.

Help with an unwell child

Seeing your child unwell can sometimes be worrying, but your health visitor, practice nurse, nurse practitioner, GP and pharmacist can all give you advice on how to treat your child’s illness.

The GP can treat your child and prescribe medicines. Some health visitors, nurses and pharmacists can also diagnose illness and prescribe medicines for your child.

If your child is ill, you can try your local pharmacy first. They’ll tell you if your child needs to see a GP. If your child has signs of serious illness, contact your GP surgery directly or take them straight to the A&E department of your local hospital.

Most GP surgeries are very supportive towards parents of small children. Some will fit babies into surgeries without an appointment or see them at the beginning of surgery hours. Many GPs will also give advice over the phone.

If you find it difficult to contact your doctor or get to the surgery, you can call NHS 111 for medical advice, 24 hours a day.