This week (w/c 13 November) is Self-Care week and local organisations are encouraging people living in Dorset to be more aware of what they can do to care for themselves and make the best use of local health services.

Use your local pharmacy

Many people are not aware that they can get advice on minor ailments from their local community pharmacy service.

Expert help can be provided to manage long-term conditions or for ailments such as a bad cough, wheezing, a cold or sore throat. Pharmacies often have longer opening hours than a GP practice, and most have a private consultation area.

If people need to see a doctor, they will be advised accordingly.

Find your local pharmacy via

Earlier is better

Don’t wait until your symptoms get serious before seeking help, the earlier you speak to someone the quicker you can be back to normal.

If you are not sure who to speak to use 111 online or call 111 and they can direct you to the most appropriate care.

If face-to-face support is needed, an appointment may be booked at a local Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) or Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC). While you can simply turn up at an MIU or UTC, you may be offered an appointment later that day (or the next) or signposted elsewhere, depending on your needs.

Online help is available

There are a range of online services available including.

Choosing apps to support your mental health and wellbeing isn’t always easy. With so many apps to choose from it can be difficult to know which ones to choose and trust, and where to go to find them.

Together, with Our Dorset partners and ORCHA, (The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps) NHS Dorset has identified the recommended self-care and well-being apps to support your mental health and wellbeing, and the emotional health of young people.

Find the toolkits on the Our Dorset Health App Library

Get protected against flu and COVID

Flu or COVID on top of any long-term health condition can easily develop into something very serious, and you could end up in hospital. If you are eligible for a free flu or COVID jab don’t put it off – accept the offer of an appointment or book one as soon as you can. It’s free because you need it.

Find out more on the Dorset HealthCare website

Stay active – stay healthy

Liz Hoskinson, Dorset General Practice Alliance Allied Health Professions Lead and Advanced MSK Practitioner is raising awareness of the benefits of staying active when it comes to keeping healthy.

She said “Staying physically active is important any time of the year, but it becomes essential during the colder months. It can be difficult to get motivated when it’s cold outside, but keeping active has many benefits.

“Being active will look different for everyone, and we need to understand that some movement is good, more is better but every minute counts.

“Keep moving, in any kind of way you choose, every day,”

Further information

Self-Care Week is an annual national awareness week that focuses on embedding support for self-care across communities, families and generations. For more information visit

For more information on staying well during the winter months visit