Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module NHS-3140:
Minor Illness

Module Facts

Run by School of Health Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mrs Gillian Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

There is an increased demand for same day consultations with General Practitioners (GPs) resulting in an ever increasing work load, the majority of consultations being minor illness.

Around half of patients visiting A&E have relatively minor injuries or illnesses. In the past it has often been these patients who have had to wait the longest for treatment. This area of work is about developing new services and different ways of working to ensure these patients get speedy and appropriate care without jeopardising the care of those who are more seriously ill

Nurses having completed the Minor illness course will be able to diagnose and treat a large majority of these patients, provided that the nurse has immediate access to a doctor. Recent developments within the health service, in Wales are addressing the manner and location as to how health services are delivered. This module would assist with the delivery of these redesigned services.

This module aims to develop the academic and clinical requirements for the nurse, who is practising in an autonomous but accountable way, providing care to patients independent of direct medical supervision; thus allowing these nurses to be able to make a differential diagnosis in relation to minor illness. The drivers for this growth being; changes in emergency care provision, new GP contracts and the European working time directive.

Course content

Topics may include:

History taking and Examination

  • History taking
  • Physical assessment skills
  • Documentation
  • Forming a diagnosis

Clinical Governance

  • Ethics, Consent & Legal issues
  • Protocol development
  • Quality and Audit


  • Assessment/ Examination
  • Recognition of the ill child

Clinical Conditions

  • Respiratory Tract Infections
  • Non traumatic head, neck and back problems
  • Sore throats
  • Ophthalmic disorders
  • Gynaecological problems including administration of emergency contraception
  • Simple rashes/dermatology
  • Notifiable diseases
  • Treatment of head lice and threadworm

General Assessment

  • Respiratory assessment
  • Common presenting complaints


  • Pharmacology
  • Over the counter (OTC) preparations
  • Common interactions
  • PGDs
  • Developments in prescribing

Assessment Criteria


Excellent understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module. Good understanding of minor illness issues. This equates to a minimum mark of Grade A- in the Grading Criteria.


Basic understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module. Students will be required to achieve a minimum of D- grade in the assignment to in order to pass the theory component of the module.

C- to C+

Good understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module. Good understanding of minor illness issues. This equates to a minimum mark of Grade C- in the Grading Criteria.


Very good understanding of the facts and principles specific to the topics covered in this module. Good understanding of minor illness issues. This equates to a minimum mark of Grade B- in the Grading Criteria.

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate the legal and ethical issues involved in patient management through advanced practice

  2. During physical examination be able to critically evaluate the processes used in order to make a clinical decision

  3. Critically analyse and demonstrate in depth knowledge of presenting conditions in relation to diagnosis and differential diagnosis

  4. Autonomously assess, diagnose, manage, treat or refer patients presenting a range of minor illnesses, appropriately without medical supervision

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Reflective case study 100
Clinical Competencies 0

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Group Project

Group work within the taught sessions to share experiences of managing and supporting clinical presentations of patients with a minor illness 20 hours


Lead Lectures 49 hours
To facilitate the understanding of the key outcomes of the course.

Private study

Private study and online workbooks


Clinical learning will be facilitated by appropriately trained mentors which may be advanced nurse practitioners or a medical practitioner 100 hours


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in


Resource implications for students

None, other than the student should have access to the internet and the course Blackboard.

Talis Reading list

Reading list

Chantal, S., Everitt, H., Van Drop, F., Burkes, M. (2014) Oxford handbook of general practice. Oxford Douglas, G., Nicol, F., & Robertson, C. (2013). Macleods Clinical examination. (13th ed). Churchill and Livingstone: Elsevier. Hopcroft, H., Forte, V. (2014). Sympton sorter. (5th ed). Oxford: Radcliffe. Johnson, G., Hill – Smith, I. (2012). Minor illness manual. (4th ed). Radcliffe Publishing. Johnson, G. (2015). Minor illness under 5. Create Space Independent Publishing. Perry, M. (2015) Minor illness and beyond: a handbook for nurses in general practice. CRC publishing.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules