Parkhill & Sherwell Valley Medical Practices

Parkhill - 01803 212489

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Many common aches and pains can be simply treated at home without the need to consult a doctor. Our nurses are available to advise you. All homes should carry a stock of over the counter medicines and dressings and these will not normally be prescribed by your doctor.

The NHS Shared Decision Making Tools can help you and your GP to decide on the best treatment for a number of conditions, please click on the link for more information - NHS Shared Decision Making Tools

  • Back pain causes 13 million working days to be lost in Britain each year.

    The spine supports the whole weight of the upper body and therefore it is understandable that it sometimes goes wrong. Because of the complex nature of the spine it is advisable to consult your doctor if back pain persists for more than a few days.

    If, as is usual, the pain has been caused by abuse i.e. lifting too heavy weights etc, be sensible and take things easy. Take care to sit as upright as possible with a support for the small of the back. Take aspirin or paracetamol, which will not only relieve the pain but will help to relieve the inflammation.


    Musculo-Skeletal Outpatient Physiotherapy

    Since 2006 patients have been able to self-refer for musculo-skeletal outpatient physiotherapy assessment. About 25% of patients choose this option rather than attending their GP first.

    The department operates a rapid access appointment system, with appointments available for up to 72 hours in advance for patients who are registered with a Torquay GP.

    The team consists of 11 Physiotherapists and 5 clerical support workers, receiving both primary and secondary care referrals for musculo-skeletal conditions. There are also close links with other services both within the Hospital and community settings. As this is a busy department, you may not always be able to see the same physiotherapist at each session. However, we are able to offer a choice of physiotherapists. Please wear appropriate clothing for an examination of the affected part of the body. You are very welcome to bring someone along with you to treatment sessions.

    All patients have access to a full range of treatment modalities, carefully selected following assessment. The treatment modalities include:

    • Acupuncture
    • Advice
    • Back Pain – Springback and specialist spinal physiotherapists
    • Cardiac rehabilitation
    • Continence
    • Electrotherapy
    • Exercise
    • Falls
    • Heat or cold therapy
    • Hydrotherapy – via consultation referral
    • Manipulation and mobilisation
    • Pain Management
    • Positioning and specialist neurological techniques
    • Pulmonary rehabilitation
    • Rehabilitation
    • Strapping techniques
    • Trauma

    The service has clinical specialist and extended scope practitioners (ESP) for several conditions.

    It also has clinical specialist physiotherapists available for:

    • back pain
    • hands
    • paediatrics
    • pain management
    • peripheral joints
    • respiratory care
    • rheumatology
    • shoulders
    • vestibular rehabilitation

    Physiotherapy Dept Torbay Hospital Lowes Bridge Torquay TQ2 7AA

    Tel: 01803 655340 Appointments: 0300 456 9987 (local rate)

  • Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible and maintain this until the pain subsides.

    This may take as long as 15 minutes!

    If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose, dry dressing. If the burn is larger than 4 or 5 inches in diameter or if the skin is broken, seek medical advice.

    You can click on the link below for information from NHS Choices

    NHS Choices Information on Burns & Scalds

    blister after burn

  • Ideally let the illness take its course.

    In adults diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral infection and is therefore unable to be treated directly. Holiday diarrhoea is often due to bacteria.

    In both the above cases, consult your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than a few days.

    Diarrhoea in very young children needs careful attention.

    Most babies have loose bowel action during their first six months due to their predominantly liquid diet. If you are concerned about your child’s bowel actions please ensure they are taking plenty of water/fluids. For further advice contact the health visitor.

    sittingon toilet

  • Gastroenteritis describes a group of diseases affecting the stomach or part of the intestine.

    Symptoms are often diarrhoea, sickness and stomachache. Because the lining of the stomach is likely to be inflamed, medicines are often immediately vomited up.

    Large quantities of water should be taken to counter the effects of dehydration.

    Consult your doctor if symptoms persist for more than a day or, in the case of babies or young children, six hours.


  • Most attacks are not serious and are usually caused by indigestion or wind.

    A hot-water bottle will often relieve the symptoms and in the case of indigestion, a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in half a glass of water will help.

    If the pain lasts for longer than eight hours or increases in intensity you should consult your doctor.


  • Firstly apply a cold compress (i.e. a bag of frozen peas) for 15 to 30 minutes to reduce the swelling.

    Apply a firm crepe bandage and give the sprain plenty of rest until all discomfort has subsided.

    Further strain will inevitably lead to further swelling and a longer recovery period. Drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen available from the pharmacy may well help.

    sprain with icepack

  • Sit down and lean forward then pinch your nose just below the bone for approximately 20 minutes, by which time the bleeding should have stopped.

    If bleeding continues beyond this you need to attend the Accident and Emergency Department at Torbay Hospital.

    Avoid hot drinks or hot foods for 24 hours. Do not blow the nose for 24 hours. If symptoms persist, seek medical advice. An ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas / flannel after being placed in cold water) on the bridge of the nose and back of the neck helps.


  • Wash the wound thoroughly with water and a little soap.

    To stop the bleeding apply a clean handkerchief or dressing firmly to the wound for about five minutes.

    Cover with a clean dry dressing.


  • Sunburn will occur after prolonged exposure to the sun.

    Treat as for other burns with cold water to remove the heat. Calamine lotion will relieve irritation whilst paracetamol will also help. 1% hydrocortisone can now be purchased over the counter from a registered pharmacist and this will soothe the irritation considerably.

    Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn and great care should be taken to avoid overexposure to the harmful effects of the sun.

    To prevent sunburn use a Factor 25, or greater, sun cream; wear light cotton clothing, a hat and keep in the shade.


  • Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from the chemist without prescription and will usually relieve most symptoms.

    Note: bee stings should be scraped away rather than ‘plucked’ in order to avoid squeezing the contents of the venom sac into the wound.



  • These creatures, contrary to belief, prefer clean hair and are therefore not a sign of poor personal hygiene.

    Wash regularly, apply conditioner and comb through with a fine toothcomb every 2-3 days for 2-3 weeks.


Department of Health