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A quick reminder about NHS services over the Christmas and New Year period

A quick reminder about NHS services over the Christmas and New Year period

If you or a family member rely on essential medication to stay well, don’t put your health at risk, think ahead and get your request for important repeat medication into your GP or pharmacy in good time.

Christmas is coming and GP practices in west Essex will close at 6:30pm on 24 December and re-open on 27 December at 8am then close at 6.30pm on 31 December and re-open at 8am on 2 January. However, the Evening and Weekend GP service is providing pre-bookable appointments for you to see a GP over this Christmas period – including bank holidays.  Speak to the GP practice receptionist or you can call 111 to book your appointment.

If you are not sure what you should do when you are feeling unwell, use the FREE NHS Health Help Now website or app to see available local services, get advice or find the best treatment for your symptoms. Alternatively you can call NHS 111 for urgent health advice 24 hours a day.

If you have a GP or hospital appointment that you can no longer attend, please let them know in advance so that the appointment can be used for someone else.

When you collect your prescription it’s a good idea to look in the bag before you leave the pharmacy and hand back anything you do not need.

National research data suggests that around £1million a year is being spent on medicines prescribed to patients in west Essex which are not used.

Rob Gerlis, Chair of West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said:  

GPs and pharmacists from across the area are working together to encourage people to consider the cost and health implications of not taking medicines as they are prescribed, or ordering medicines which are no longer needed. 

“Remember that most GP surgeries and pharmacies require at least 48 hours’ notice to prepare a repeat prescription. 

“As well as advice from pharmacists and evening and weekend to GP appointments, don’t forget that the telephone service NHS 111 is there for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if you urgently need health advice.”

Free to use, NHS 111 advisers and clinicians will help you to find the best service for your needs, whether that’s an out-of-hours GP appointment, emergency dentist or even a referral to A&E. It’s really important to use the right NHS service for your specific symptoms or condition and NHS 111 will help you with this.

Your local pharmacist is an expert in medicines and minor illnesses and a great source of trusted advice on a range of health issues. As well as helping you to get the right over the counter medicine to relieve your symptoms, they will also tell you if something needs attention from your practice nurse, GP, dentist, your local minor injuries unit or urgent care centre.

Please see details of pharmacy opening hours over the bank holiday.

You Can Take Care And Be A #WinterHero this Self Care Week

You Can Take Care And Be A #WinterHero this Self Care Week

Health teams have got together with Livewell Essex to create a set of messages to help us help you this winter.

Self Care Week, which runs from 18 November to 24 November, provides messages about how people can stay well, including recognising early triggers and symptoms of illness and taking action to prevent them getting worse.

Anurita Rohilla, Chief Pharmacist at the CCG said: “By covering your nose and mouth when it’s cold, particularly if you have COPD and Asthma, getting your flu vaccine, or asking your pharmacist for advice at the first sign of a cold or upset stomach, you can prevent worsening of your long-term condition and avoid visits to the GP Practice.

“We are asking people to #BeAWinterHero and do things to help themselves and people in their community. Essentially choose self-care for minor ailments and know where to get advice if you are worried about you or someone in your community.”

The strapline for this year’s Self Care Week is ‘Think Self Care For Life’ is all about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing.  

Clinical Commissioning Groups are promoting all the ways you can self care including:

  • Keeping a medicine cabinet with essentials like, remedies for upset stomachs, rehydration powders, paracetamol and ibuprofen and cold and flu remedies to see you through any ailments.
  • Know how to prevent triggers for feeling unwell in the cold – like wrapping a scarf around your nose and mouth to prevent cold air from hitting the lungs.
  • Getting your free flu jab if you are under 65 and living with a long term condition, over 65, a carer, have children under 10.
  • Making your pharmacist the first port of call for minor ailments if you want advice or call 111.
  • Eat well and live well, taking regular exercise and getting plenty of rest.
  • Keeping an eye on more vulnerable members in the community and helping them get the right care if they seem cold or unwell or even just popping in for chat to prevent loneliness.

Local Health services this August bank holiday

Local Health services this August bank holiday

With the Bank  Holiday weekend fast approaching, local doctors have issued advice to help you to stay well and make sure you have enough medicines to see you through the long weekend.

If you rely on regular prescription medication, check you have enough to last you over the bank holiday. If you need more, be sure to order it as soon as possible, as many GP practices and some pharmacies will be closed on the bank holiday Monday (26 August 2019). Details of opening times for local pharmacies can be found on the NHS website.

Anyone seeking medical help or advice over the holiday should in the first instance call the NHS 111 service, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Dr Rob Gerlis, Chair of West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

GPs and pharmacists from across the area are working together to encourage people to consider the cost and health implications of not taking medicines as they are prescribed, or ordering medicines which are no longer needed.

“Most GP surgeries and pharmacies require at least 48 hours’ notice to prepare a repeat prescription, so I would urge people to check they have enough to get through the holiday.

“I would also suggest people take the opportunity to go through their medicines cupboard at the same time. If they already have more than one month’s supply of any item they need to take regularly, hold off from reordering but do check the ‘use by’ date. Stockpiling out-of-date medicines can be dangerous to other family members, particularly children.”

“If people do need any further advice about medicines over the weekend speak to a pharmacist or call the NHS 111 telephone service, which is free to use and there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

“The NHS 111 advisers and clinicians will also give advice on any other health matters and help people find the best service for their needs, whether it’s an out-of-hours GP appointment, emergency dentist or even a referral to A&E.”

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