Useful Links for Health Advice, Information & Self Care

We have listed a variety of useful websites which can be used to access advice, health information and direct links to self care for a range of minor illnesses.  

NHS Choices NHS Choices Logo

The NHS website is always a great place to start when it comes to accessing useful information relating to your health and wellbeing. It has a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to seek medical attention.

It also has a guide to medicines, so you can find out how they work and read up on any possible side effects.

Devon Referral Support Service

If you have been referred to hospital and are waiting for an outpatient appt, a diagnostic test or an operation and wish to know how long you may expect to wait, please use one of the contact methods below: 

Your GP and the practice are unable to provide up to date waiting time information so this is the best route for you to use to understand how long you may expect to wait.

Due to Covid 19, waiting times are longer than usual. The NHS is working hard to give people information about how long you will wait. All the hospitals in Devon are making sure care is given to people most in clinical need first.

For further information please see the links below:



Living Options


If you are waiting to be seen for your referral, and struggle to manage with everyday tasks there may be support available in the community.


Contact Living Options Devon and the advisor will try and put you in contact with local support that can help you with practical steps to keep you well while you wait.


Use either of the contact methods below to enquire about what support can be offered. And see the website for further information.

Another useful and easy to use website for health information. It includes useful tools, tests and also a symptom checker.

Self Care for minor illness

Every year millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that can be easily resolved without a doctors appointment.

It is estimated that every year 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema and athletes foot.  By visiting your pharmacy, you could save yourself time and trouble.

Self Care

Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments.  Coughs, colds, indigestion and many other minor complaints can be treated with medicines available over the counter.

Your pharmacist can advise on what you might find useful to keep in your medicine cabinet.  Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and consult your doctor if the illness continues or becomes more severe.

Self Care for life - Take Control

We want you to Self care for Life.  Become more health conscious and choose healthy options that will impact positively on your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing and self esteem.

Self Care for Life means eating properly, taking regular exercise and looking after your symptoms of common everyday illness.  Take control and recognise when to self care and when to seek advice, and if you need advice, think about your local pharmacist or whether a visit to the surgery is necessary.  And, if you have a long term condition, understand that condition and how to live well with it daily. Self Care for a good Life - Take Control!

The NHS website is a great tool to find out more about self care; 

We've also listed some of the most common minor illnesses below, click on the individual symptom to download a useful fact sheet:

Local Health Information for Devon  

North Devon Hospice's One Day at a Time

Offering wellbeing opportunities and activities such as mindfulness techniques, Art Therapy and self-massage.

My Wishes - The End-of-life Educational Group (North Devon) have created a link and booklet to help people think about what is important to them in their future care, empowering us all to have those important conversations to ensure individual values and choices will be at the centre of their future care.

Devon Referral Support Service (DRSS)

DRSS manage all the GP referrals for patients who need to be seen by a hospital clinician.

If you have a query about your referral, or you have been waiting for an appointment or operation and wish to follow this up or discuss options for being seen at another hospital of your choice please contact DRSS directly on

Practice & Patient Helpdesk Telephone 01626 883 888 or email

Devon sexual health website


Headway Devon

Headway Devon is a local charity dedicated to improving life after brain injury.

One-line support for young people (aged 11-18)

Advice on toothache and getting the most appropriate treatment

NHS patient information leaflet on antibiotics and toothache

Help in finding a local dentist or an emergency dentist

Or ring 01271 324878 Mon - Friday 9am - 5pm or for an emergency dentist out of hours ring 03330 006 330

Wellbeing and health advice

Helping you and your doctor make the right decisions about your care

MacMillan Cancer Support


Family Planning Association

Leaflet to take to schools if your child needs to take medication during school time

Medication in schools leaflet

North Devon Against Domestic Abuse

Barnstaple Library, including regular events held in the library -

Citizens Advice


Who support individuals, couples and families through all stages of their relationships offering various counselling and therapies

Young Devon - advice and information for young people in Devon


Termination of Pregnancy Services in Devonmarie stopes

Marie Stopes are comissioned by the Devon CCG to provide abortion services across Devon from April 2020. Patient's can self-refer to the service without the need to speak to their GP. Visit the Marie Stopes website on the link below for more information:

Shoreline Recovery Centre Logo 

Shoreline Recovery Centre - Alcholism & Domestic Abuse Support


Mental Health Support - Devon, Torbay & Plymouth

Anyone experiencing a mental health crisis no longer needs to visit an Emergency Department for advice. Devon, Torbay and Plymouth mental health services provide a 24/7 First Response Service for anyone experiencing a crisis. The helpline offers expert mental health advice, support and signposting.

Helpline number: 0808 196 8708


Ladywell Unit (NDDH) Counselling Service

Petter Ward, NDDH offer a counselling service that provides a safe, professional, confidential and non-judgemental space for women and men to discuss their difficulties with pregnancy, pregnancy loss and related issues.

For more information and contact details, click on the flyer below

Ladywell Counselling Service Flyer

The Fern Centre, North Devon's Cancer and Wellbeing Centre

The Fern Centre is based at North Devon's District Hospital in Barnstaple. They offer support for patients with cancer, as well as their loved ones by providing a dedicated space for therapies, care and advice in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

It is run by specialist staff and trained volunteers. It is entirely funded by charitable contributions raised by the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust charity, Over and Above.

For more information and to see the full list of services and support they can offer, please visit their website:

fern centreo&a

Support for persistent pain

Please see below a video for support on persistent pain, for any further help and guidance please follow the link.


NHS Referral Waiting Times 

Want to know your expected wait time for the hospital you have been referred to? Click the link below.
If you have been referred to either NDDH or RD&E they have now merged so show under their new name Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website