The NHS is reminding people that Pharmacists can offer expert advice on winter illness and ailments without the need for a GP appointment or visiting A&E.
As more people experience the symptoms of seasonal coughs, colds and flu this winter, a visit to your local pharmacist for health advice or over-the-counter remedies could be the quickest way to help yourself and relieve demand upon your local NHS.
Pharmacists can help with clinical advice for minor health concerns such as coughs, colds, tummy troubles and aches and pains. Pharmacies don’t just dispense medicines. They offer a wide range of advice and support in a range of issues, including helping people to quit smoking, cutting down on alcohol, providing advice on safe sex and emergency contraception, and on maintaining good health.
Help and advice is available at convenient ours without making an appointment. You can talk to your pharmacist confidentially without being noted in medical records, which some people may prefer.
Dr Ed Ford, Chairman of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This winter family doctors are seeing many more people with symptoms of coughs, colds or flu, but in many cases they could have helped themselves with some quick advice from a community pharmacist or a few low cost, over the counter remedies. If you don’t know to find your nearest pharmacist or what health service or treatment you need, visit https://111.nhs.uk/ or telephone NHS 111. The service is free to call and available 24 hours a day“.
The ’Pharmacy Advice’ campaign is part of NHS England’s ‘Help Us Help You’ winter campaign. Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals offering expert clinical advice visit nhs.uk/pharmacyadvice.
Be prepared for winter with over the counter remedies for cold symptoms.
As well as paracetamol and ibuprofen based cold remedies, a range of medicines are available over the counter. These may relieve a sore throat, treat the cough and help your blocked nose. Your pharmacist can advise you on what treatment is best for you and your family. Always keep medicines away from children.
Contact your family doctor if you think you have flu and you have a serious underlying illness; you are pregnant; you have a sick child under one year old; your condition suddenly gets much worse or your condition is still getting worse after seven days (or five days for a child).
If your symptoms become worse and you need urgent health advice telephone NHS 111 or check online – 111.nhs.uk
For more information about helping you and your family stay well this winter go to: www.nhs.uk/staywell