A reminder of what health services are available

News / Tue 30th Dec 2014 at 07:57am

Should you need medical help or advice, it is essential you choose the right service for your needs.

If you need medical help or advice, but it is not an emergency call 111. NHS 111 is available free, 24 hours a day, every day including Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year’s day.

When you call 111 trained advisers supported by experienced nurses will ask you questions and assess your symptoms before providing the healthcare advice you need. If necessary, they will book an out of hours GP appointment or direct you to another appropriate service nearby.

This could be a local pharmacy which can give help and advice on managing the symptoms of common winter illnesses such as coughs, colds and sore throats at home. A full list of pharmacy opening times for west Essex is attached.

Dr Rob Gerlis, Chair of West Essex CCG said: “We hope local people enjoy a healthy and happy Christmas and New Year but want to make sure people know where they can find the help they need if necessary.

“It’s also a good idea to ask your local pharmacy about what you need to keep you and your family healthy at home by managing common winter illnesses if they arise. You can also pick up basic medicines like painkillers or treatments for minor coughs, colds and sore throats from supermarkets and local shops.”

Self-care is a key theme of West Essex CCG’s winter campaign which is challenging people across Essex to tweet their #selfcareselfie – ways in which they will be taking care of themselves over winter. Join the campaign with your #selfcareselfie @nhswestessex or share your photo by liking facebook/weccg.

Top tips for a healthier, happier winter include:
• 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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