CCG chair and Newham GP Dr Prakash Chandra gives some festive medical advice

PUBLISHED: 10:00 21 December 2016

Andrew Baker. 07977074356

As the festive season draws closer, I’d like to encourage local people to make sure they know where to go for treatment and health advice over the holidays, as well as to think about some simple steps they can take to stay well this winter.

Winter is the busiest time of year for the NHS, which puts pressure on GPs and hospitals and we can all help to make sure that everyone can get the treatment and advice they need by using the right service. It’s especially important to remember that A&E should only be used by people with serious, life-threatening health problems requiring emergency treatment.

Choosing an alternative to A&E not only helps to make sure that emergency departments can focus their efforts on those most in need, it could help you to get the treatment you need faster and closer to home.

Your pharmacist can help with many health concerns and is well placed to give advice and treatment for coughs and colds as well as minor injuries. You can also top up on over the counter medicines as many common winter illnesses can be treated at home with over the counter products and rest. It’s useful to keep your medicines cabinet well stocked with supplies such as paracetamol, indigestion medication and plasters for when the need arises, especially over the holiday period.

It’s also important to remember any prescriptions - if you or a family member has been prescribed antibiotics or other medication, make sure you pick up prescriptions before Christmas as many GPs and pharmacies in Newham close over the festive season.

You can also take some simple steps to reduce the risk of developing common winter bugs. Keeping active and eating a healthy balanced diet boosts your immunity, wearing shoes with a good grip on the soles reduces slips, trips and falls and keeping yourself warm will help you to stay well so close curtains and doors to block out draughts and make sure you wrap up well.

If you do become ill or get injured over a bank holiday, or need to find a local pharmacy, call NHS 111 for medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they will direct you to the most appropriate service. We’re all here to help you stay well this winter. More from Dr Chandra

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