Doctors in east Kent are reminding people to stock up their medicine cabinets ready for winter and the Christmas holiday period.
Winter illnesses such as colds and coughs, sore throats, and upset stomachs can easily be treated at home with medicines available at low cost from your local pharmacy – no GP appointment or prescription required.
Dr Navin Kumta, Chair of NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Planning ahead this winter will help us help you and your family stay healthy and avoid a last minute trip to the pharmacy or supermarket.
“It is important to make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home which should include paracetamol, cold remedies, antiseptic wipes, plasters, tweezers and a thermometer.
“If you take prescribed medication make sure you order enough from your GP surgery to last you over the festive break, as many GPs and pharmacies will close and remember to take it with you when if you go away.”
Get advice from your pharmacist at the first sign of feeling ill – don’t wait for it to get more serious. They will be happy to talk to you about a cough or a cold and can sell a range of medication without the need for a prescription.
Dr Kumta added: “If you urgently need medical care when your GP practice is closed, and the pharmacy can’t help, please ring NHS 111 for advice. They can arrange for you to see an out-of-hours GP service if necessary, and they are open 24 hours a day every day of the week.”
Local pharmacies will be open on both bank holidays, and to find them, people can use Health Help Now which is available on the web at www.healthhelpnow.nhs.uk or it can be downloaded from the Google Play and the App Store.
For further information on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell