Details of health service provision in Harlow over festive period

Politics / Mon 22nd Dec 2014 at 04:59pm

WITH increased demand on health and care services over winter, West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is advising local people on the availability of GP practices and pharmacies over the Christmas period.

Visit your local pharmacy for help and advice on managing the symptoms of common winter illnesses such as coughs, colds and sore throats at home. You should also check you have enough medication to last the festive period and New Year, especially repeat prescriptions. A full list of pharmacy opening times for west Essex is attached.

People should contact their own GP practice to find out their individual opening times during this period. Remember antibiotics are not needed for every illness and using them unnecessarily means they are less likely to work when we need them and could expose you to side effects.

Dr Rob Gerlis, Chair of West Essex CCG said: “We hope that everyone in west Essex enjoys a healthy and happy festive period but want to make sure people know where they can find the help they need if necessary.

“Should people find themselves in need of medical help fast but it’s not an emergency, they should call NHS 111 which is available free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round, including Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year’s day.

“When you call 111 you’ll get through to trained advisers supported by GPs and experienced nurses. They will ask you questions and assess your symptoms and give you the healthcare advice you need, or direct you to the right local service.”

There are also many ways people can help themselves stay well at home:

Top tips for a healthier, happier winter:
• Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet – most winter ailments can be dealt with at home
• Speak to your local pharmacist – they can recognise and resolve many common health issues
• Get your flu jab now, you may be entitled to a free one – ask your GP or pharmacist for details
• Keep active to stay physically and mentally well
• Be mindful that sometimes symptoms can last longer than you think – sore throats can last an average of eight days
• Don’t forget, antibiotics don’t work on sore throats, coughs or colds

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