Doctors in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen are calling on local residents to help ease the likely pressures on NHS services over Christmas and New Year.
The festive period is traditionally a very busy time for the NHS so local residents are being reminded that they can seek advice of local pharmacists should they suffer a minor illness or injury and need treatment advice.
Dr David White, Clinical Lead for Urgent Care at NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:
“Our pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals who can provide free advice on the best treatment for a wide range of illnesses and minor injuries and should be the first point of call for any minor illness. Our urgent care departments should be left free for serious accidents and life-threatening illnesses.
“We are under serious pressure but especially during the winter months which are often the busiest time of year for the NHS.”
“Anyone who isn’t feeling well over the festive period can also ring 111 for help and advice on where to go and who to see. They can book an out-of-hours GP appointment for you if needed. 111 is now also online at https://111.nhs.uk/
“Plus there is also excellent advice on how to self-manage many minor illnesses on the NHS website www.nhs.uk as well as our local children’s minor illness electronic booklet available on both CCG websites.”
A number of pharmacies will be open during the holiday season and able to offer free, expert advice without the need for an appointment, or sitting and waiting for hours. If it’s a cough, cold, stomach bug, indigestion or a hangover, your local pharmacy will be able to advise of the right remedy.
Alternatively, local people can also help themselves first by making sure they have a well-stocked medicine cabinet before the festivities start. This should include things such as:
- Painkillers – paracetamol and/or ibuprofen
- Oral rehydration remedies
- Anti-diarrhoea tablets
- Indigestion tablets such as chewable antacids
- Plasters, bandages and antiseptic
In East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen all pharmacies will be open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as normal. However, closing times may vary so it is best to check with the individual pharmacy.
A full list of Christmas and New Year opening times for pharmacies is available at:
- Blackburn with Darwen http://www.blackburnwithdarwenccg.nhs.uk/pharmacy-opening-times-christmas-and-new-year/