Coventry and Warwickshire health leaders are encouraging people to choose their health services wisely over Christmas and the New Year.
Dr David Spraggett, Chair of NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said on behalf of the clinical commissioning Groups in Coventry and Warwickshire:
“People should make good use of their local pharmacy, many of which will be open over Christmas when other services may be closed. We’re urging the public to choose well this winter, and pharmacies are the best place to get the right advice and treatment for coughs, colds and flu, along with many other illnesses.
“Another useful service to remember is the free NHS helpline 111, which offers health advice and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re also reminding people to make sure they have all the medication they need for the Christmas period and have ordered their repeat prescriptions in plenty of time to cover the holidays.”
Warwickshire health leaders have drawn up the following list to help people decide where to go, depending on the health problem.
Cold and flu: Self-care at home. If you’re feeling a little run down after too many late nights, you may be more susceptible to a cold. Take pain-relieving paracetamol, stay well hydrated and rest.
An itchy rash: Pharmacy. Allergic reaction to that new aftershave you got for Christmas? Pharmacists will be able to assess a rash and provide you with medication to help alleviate your symptoms.
Stomach ache: GP. Over-indulgence and eating lots of rich food over the festive period may lead to indigestion. Your pharmacist will be able to provide indigestion remedies, but if your stomach ache persists, your GP will be able to advise you of the best course of treatment.
A cut finger: Walk-in centre or Urgent Care Centre. Be extra careful using a very sharp knife to carve your Christmas roast, but if you do cut yourself and it is fairly deep and bleeding, visit your walk-in centre, urgent care centre or minor injuries unit where they will be able to advise and treat you, if necessary.
Sprains and strains: Walk-in centre, self-care at home or GP. Rushing around on icy pavements to do your last-minute Christmas shopping can lead to slips and trips. Take care and wear supportive, flat boots or shoes if you venture out in ice or snow. If you do fall and sprain your ankle or wrist, you can visit a walk-in centre for assessment, rest at home, or make an appointment to see your GP.
If you are unsure how to treat an urgent condition – but not a life-threatening emergency - that occurs when you cannot get help from your GP or pharmacist, dial 111, the free 24-hour NHS helpline for an assessment and advice. They can also direct you to an appropriate local service that is open.
Note to Editors:
Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action if you start to feel unwell
A pharmacist has to be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council and have worked for at least a year under the supervision of an experienced and qualified pharmacist, either in a hospital or community pharmacy, such as a supermarket or high street pharmacy
Around 85% of pharmacies have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard by other members of the public.
The NHS 111 service faced unprecedented demand during the 2014/15 winter (Nov-Feb). Calls totalled 4.7 million calls – around one million or up 30% on the 3.6 million calls handled the previous winter
At its peak over Christmas, NHS 111 received 439,000 calls for the week ending 28 December
NHS111 call handlers and support staff helped reduce unnecessary pressures on A&E and emergency ambulance services by directing people to right place for their care such as GPs, walk-in centres or pharmacists. Of all the calls triaged between November 2014 – February 2015, just 11% had ambulances dispatched and 7% were recommended to attend A&E.
For further information, contact the communications team:
T: 01926 353810
For out of hours press enquiries, call 01522 537887
Walk in services available:
Coventry NHS Healthcare and Walk-in Centre,
Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry, CV1 4FH
The Walk in Centre is open seven days a week, 365 days a year (including bank holidays) between 8am and 10pm.
Camphill GP led Health Centre, Ramsden Avenue, Camphill, Nuneaton, CV10 9EB, Open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week
Minor injuries centres
Stratford-upon-Avon Hospital, Minor Injuries, Arden Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6NX Open 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week
Rugby Urgent Care Centre, Hospital of St Cross site, Barby Rd, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV22 5PX
Pharmacy Times over Christmas and the New Year can be found here: