People in Newham are being encouraged to ‘know where to go’ for healthcare in case they are taken ill or injured over the Christmas and New Year period.
The festive period is one of the busiest times of the year for local GP practices and hospitals. To ensure everyone can receive the care and treatment they need, it is important to remember that there are a number of ways to get advice and support from the NHS.
This includes visiting your local pharmacy for help treating coughs, colds and other minor ailments, and calling NHS 111 free if you need health advice urgently. It is also advisable to keep your medicine cabinet well stocked to help you deal with any minor health issues.
If you have a long-term health condition, you should ensure you prepare for the upcoming bank holidays by requesting well in advance any repeat prescriptions you might need.
Dr Prakash Chandra, a local GP and chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Being well prepared is essential at this time of year. This includes making sure you know where to go for NHS care as there are a number of options locally.
“Choosing the right service ensures that you receive treatment you need in the right place at the right time – allowing our urgent care teams to focus on those who really need them.
“As well as being a valuable source of advice and offering over-the-counter medicines, pharmacies can also provide repeat prescriptions – but please be aware that the NHS receives many requests for these during this period.
“Ordering your repeat prescriptions well in advance will ensure you are well prepared for the four-day Christmas bank holiday weekend. If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, you can assist them by asking if they need help collecting their medications.”
Over the festive period, people in Newham have a number of healthcare options:
- Self care: Keeping your medicine cabinet well stocked with basic items such as painkillers, anti-diarrhoea tablets and indigestion treatment will help you deal with minor health issues at home. For advice on what to keep in your medicine cabinet, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Pharmacy/Pages/Yourmedicinecabinet.aspx
- Visit a pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy where you can seek help without having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments. There are a number of pharmacies open in Newham over the weekend including bank holiday Monday. A full list is available on the Newham CCG website www.newhamccg.nhs.uk
- Call NHS 111 – If you need medical help fast, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the number is free to call and is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians.
- Book an appointment with a GP – If you need to see a GP on a Saturday or Sunday or in the evening, you can make an appointment between 8am and 8pm. Appointments must be booked in advance by calling 020 7540 9949. Callers will be directed to the most appropriate service for their needs.
- In an emergency – If there is a medical emergency, you can visit the Emergency Department at Newham Hospital. Please remember that this should only be used for the most serious injuries or health conditions.
For more advice to help you and your family stay well this winter, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell