Repeat prescriptions? Only order what you need

Did you know that approximately 1.6 million medicine items are wasted unnecessarily in Dorset each year? Did you know that if healthcare were a country, it would be the 5th biggest carbon emitter in the world? In the UK, the NHS has estimated that the manufacture, supply, and use of pharmaceuticals accounts for 25% of the NHS’s total carbon footprint. We need your help to reduce this. 

Please check what medicines you have at home before you order your repeat prescriptions. If you have enough, only request the medicines you need this time. You will still be able to order your medicine again in future, and you will be helping your community, the environment and your NHS.

Find out more at:

Cervical Screening

You may have recently heard that the NHS has pledged to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040 for the first time ever, which could save thousands of lives every year in England. To achieve this pledge, the NHS needs to ensure women come forward for cervical screening.

Cervical screening at Milton Abbas Surgery is carried out by three very friendly and experienced nurses, and we have flexible appointments available throughout the week, up to 5.40pm on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and Saturday mornings from 9 – 10am.

If you have any concerns that you would like to talk through before your screening appointment or if you have had a previous bad experience that has left you worried about attending again, please ring the surgery and ask for Marrianne, Bev or Hannah who would be very happy to call you back.

Our lovely Nurses hope to see you soon. Please don’t delay, take 5 minutes now to ring for an appointment on 01258 880210.

Self-care for Minor Ailments Over Winter

As winter approaches, more of us will get sick and suffer from various illnesses. When you start feeling unwell, don’t wait until your condition worsens – seek expert advice on what to do from your local pharmacist. They can recommend treatments and how to manage your symptoms to help you recover quicker. And remember, there is lots you can do to help yourself feel better.

Self-care: Cold

One of the most common winter illnesses is the common cold.

To help you recover quicker, drink fluids to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest and sleep at home. You can also get cold medicines from your local pharmacy or supermarket, such as painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a temperature, or decongestant sprays / tablets to clear a blocked nose.
We do not recommend the use of antibiotics in colds – they do not work on viral infections and may cause side effects.

Colds can be self-treated and usually go away by themselves. However, there are times when you should see a GP:

  • If symptoms do not improve after 3 weeks / suddenly worsen
  • Temperature is very high, or you feel hot / shivery
  • Suffering from breathlessness or chest pain

More information on colds can be found on the NHS website at

Self-care: Cough

Coughs tend to clear up by themselves within 3-4 weeks and can be taken care of at home.

To help recover quicker, you should get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and try to stay home. You could also try using painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen or home remedies like hot lemon and honey. These can help relieve symptoms that come with coughs and colds.

Although coughs can be self-treated and usually go away by themselves, there are times when you should see a GP. Warning symptoms include:

  • Cough duration longer than 3 weeks
  • Severe cough (cough is very bad or worsens quickly)
  • Breathlessness
  • Coughing up blood

More information on coughs can be found on the NHS website at

Self-care: Sore throat

Sore throats are a very common condition and usually resolve by themselves within a week without the need for a GP visit. You can relieve symptoms by sucking on ice cubes or hard sweets and eating cool or soft foods, while gargling with warm, salty water may also help.

To help you recover faster, make sure to drink plenty of fluids and rest at home. Over-the-counter medicines from your local pharmacy or supermarket can help manage sore throat symptoms. For example, painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can help with pain relief, while medicated lozenges with a local anaesthetic or anti-inflammatory medicine can help to reduce swelling and pain in the throat.

Antibiotics are not normally needed for a sore throat as they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up recovery.

If your sore throat doesn’t improve after a week, or you often get sore throats, we encourage you to book an appointment with a GP.

More information on sore throats can be found on the NHS website at

Self-care: Ear infection

Ear infections are very common during the winter months, especially in children. Symptoms usually start quickly, and usually include earache, fever, being sick, fatigue, and difficulty hearing. Some infections may cause discharge to run out of the ear or a feeling of pressure inside the ear. Children may also rub or pull their ear, be restless or not have any appetite.

The best way to manage an ear infection is to relieve any symptoms and allow your body to fight of the infection. Ear infections typically get better on their own within 3 days, and self-treatment at home is very easy.

To relieve pain and discomfort from ear infections, you could use over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen or place a warm or cold flannel on the ear. You could also go to your local pharmacist for expert advice on your condition. Antibiotics are not usually offered as they do not help with symptoms, and the infection should clear up within 3-7 days.

If the earache does not start improving after 3 days, or you suffer from regular ear infections, it is recommended that you book an appointment with a GP.

More information on ear infections can be found on the NHS website at

Being prepared this winter: stocking up on medicines

Everyone has an important role to prevent illness, especially during the winter months. Minor illnesses like coughs and colds, sore throats, or ear infections can be easily treated at home with cheap medicines from your local pharmacy without needing an appointment or prescription from your GP.

Medicine cabinet essentials include:

  • Pain relief (e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen)
  • Cough or sore throat remedies
  • First aid kit (plasters, bandages, antiseptic wipes)
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Heartburn and indigestion treatment

Stocking up on these essentials will not only help you feel better sooner and save you time, but also help the NHS save much needed resources during the winter.

Beware Scam Emails ~ December 2023

A phishing email is circulating with fake Lloyds Pharmacy emails. Scammers are pretending to be LloydsDirect, promising easy prescription management and free delivery.

These emails contain links designed to steal personal/financial information or install malware. The fraudsters have made the emails appear more genuine by including LloydsDirect/NHS logos and Trustpilot reviews.

However, these emails are fake. Do not click any links, provide info, or sign up through these emails. Double check directly with your pharmacy if unsure.

Stay safe, don’t click!


Understanding Menopause Booklet

An Understanding Menopause booklet has been produced with British Menopause Society Accredited Menopause specialists and contains everything we all need to know about Perimenopause and Menopause.

This is a FREE resource. To download your own PDF copy, please click here. For more information, please go to

If you, or someone you know, are not able to download a copy and would like a paper copy, please let Kelly our Social Prescriber at the surgery know either by phone or email [email protected] and she can arrange for one to be sent to you.


Better Care for Carers Awards ~ October 2023

Better Care for Carers is an accreditation scheme that encourages GP practices to have a consistent approach of support for their carers. It is very much about a ‘whole practice’ approach and engagement with the scheme works towards a complete shift in culture. The accreditation awards a practice one of four levels: bronze, silver, gold or platinum based on their level of support to carers.

The scheme was launched in September 2022 for the 9 practices in the Mid Dorset Primary Care Network and evidence was submitted in June 2023. After submissions were judged by an awards panel of 8 key stakeholders, it was felt that Milton Abbas Surgery went above the basic requirements for bronze so was awarded ‘Bronze Plus’ level. The outstanding work and progress during the first year of the scheme puts us in a strong position for continuing the scheme and working towards achieving silver level next time.

This is Kelly, our Carers Lead at the surgery, receiving the award on behalf of the team.

For more details of how we can support carers, please see our dedicated page:

Using the NHS App

If you’re a patient at our practice, you can use the NHS App to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.

It doesn’t replace existing services. You can still contact us in the usual ways.

But, once you have verified your identity in the app, you will have easy, 24/7 access to a growing range of health services and information. You can: 

  • order repeat prescriptions
  • access NHS 111 online
  • find NHS services
  • view your health records
  • book appointments
  • and much more… 

If you already use Systmonline you can continue to use it. But the NHS App will give you easy and secure access on your smartphone.

If you have any problems using the NHS App, you can select ‘help’ in the top right-hand corner of the app or visit

The Mid Dorset Practice Care Network, of which Milton Abbas Surgery is part of, now has a YouTube channel which has short videos on how to use Systmonline and the NHS app. Click here to view the videos

BRIDGIT for Carers

BRIDGIT is a self-help service for unpaid carers, currently being trialled by the Mid Dorset Practice Care Network and Dorset Council. It provides access to online support for anyone who assists a friend or relative. It’s free and quick to use, and can help them to get access to advise, local events, discounts, and services. You can also create a personal and bespoke profile and support plan. For more information, please go to

As with any pilot scheme, there are always things that can be improved so please feel free to give them feedback, and we would also suggest that you read their Privacy Policy with regards to the information they will collect and how they process any data.

Pan Dorset Advocacy Service

SWAN (South West Advocacy Network) is a leading independent advocacy charity – providing advocacy services throughout the south west and bordering counties since 1999.  They are delighted to be delivering a Pan Dorset Advocacy Service from 1st June 2023 (previously delivered by Dorset Advocacy).

Please see this leaflet which sets out the advocacy services that they currently offer across Pan Dorset.