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People in Newham urged to self care this winter

People in Newham urged to self care this winter
10 November 2017

People in Newham are being urged to take simple steps to stay fit and healthy this winter – with a reminder that caring for yourself can also help the NHS. 

Winter is the busiest time for the NHS, with GPs and hospitals under added pressure, but many common illnesses can be treated at home with over-the-counter products and rest.

Looking after your own health at home, or visiting your local pharmacy for help and advice, could save you time – and an unnecessary visit to your GP.

During Self Care Week, which runs until Sunday (November 13 -19), doctors in Newham are encouraging people across the borough to do what they can to stay healthy, to be prepared to treat minor ailments, and to know where to seek the right help when they need it.

Dr Prakash Chandra, a local GP and chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “As local GPs, we want to support you to look after your own health. Taking simple steps, such as keeping fit and healthy, can help you fight off common winter bugs.

“It’s always useful to keep your medicines cabinet well stocked – that ensures you have a first aid kit available to deal with any minor illnesses or injuries.

“You should also consider having the flu jab every year. If you’re not eligible for a free NHS vaccination, you can arrange one for a small charge at many local pharmacies.”

A well-stocked home medicine cabinet might contain:

  • Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Cold and flu remedies
  • Anti-diarrhoeal medicine
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Indigestion remedies
  • First aid kit including plasters and bandages
  • Thermometer
  • Tissues

You can buy all these items from a local pharmacy or supermarket without a prescription but if you have any questions or would like advice on what medicines you should buy, ask your local pharmacist. For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/livewell/pharmacy

Dr Chandra added: “Following these simple steps and using the right service could save you valuable time and an unnecessary trip to your GP over the busy winter period.

“Self care can also help to reduce the pressure on local health services – freeing up A&E and much-needed GP appointments for those who really need them.

If you do need health advice in Newham this winter, you can seek advice from:

  • Your local pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. You can speak to a pharmacist without having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can advise you how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments, and provide advice on how on how to quit smoking. Many also offer the flu vaccination. To find your local pharmacy and the services it offers, visit nhs.uk.
  • NHS 111 service – If you need medical help quickly, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the free telephone service is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can assess you, offer advice and direct you to the right place to get the medical care you need as quickly as possible.

The best way to tackle ill health is to avoid it in the first place. Making small changes to your lifestyle, such as by staying active or making healthy food choices, can make a big difference to your future health. For more information and advice, visit www.nhs.uk

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