With the weather getting colder, it’s pretty much guaranteed that at some point between now and Christmas you will feel a bit under the weather. But what if you feel worse? Sometimes the winter season can set some nasty bugs and viruses upon us, so do you know what to do or where to go for help? Here’s our handy guide below:
Self-care A lot of common illnesses can be treated at home by using over-the-counter medicine and getting plenty of rest. It is worth keeping paracetamol or aspirin, anti-diarrhoea medicine, rehydration mixture, indigestion remedy, plasters and a thermometer in your medicine cabinet. Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries.
Visit Your Pharmacy Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help you with minor health concerns.As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.
If symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need. For example they will tell you if you need to see a GP.
All pharmacists train for 5 years in the use of medicines. They are also trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice.
Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You don’t need an appointment – you can just walk in. Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.
Pharmacies can give treatment advice about a range of common conditions and minor injuries, such as: aches and pains sore throat coughs colds flu earache cystitis skin rashes teething red eye
If you want to buy an over-the-counter medicine, the pharmacist and their team can help you choose. Antibiotics will not be available over the counter to treat minor conditions.
See Your GP Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness or injury that will not go away, including persistent vomiting, ear pain, stomach ache or back ache. Get the treatment you need at a convenient time and place and reduce the demand on our emergency services. Registering is free and means you can make an appointment with a doctor for medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. For help finding your nearest GP, use the online search on www.nhs.uk or call 0300 311 22 33.
Go to the Hospital An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as: loss of consciousness acute confused state and fits that are not stopping chest pain breathing difficulties severe bleeding that cannot be stopped severe allergic reactions severe burns or scalds stroke major trauma such as a road traffic accident
Only go to A&E if you have experienced any of the above symptoms.
You can help to alleviate the strain on our NHS by following these guides. Please also follow weather warning advice in ice and snow, helping to take the pressure off A&E for avoidable injuries caused by slips and trips. If you don’t have to go out, don’t.