Posted by Paul Davey at 06/01/2017 08:57:42
Health chiefs in east Kent are asking patients who take medicine regularly to order their repeat prescriptions early.
The message comes as the NHS across the country faces unprecedented demand from patients. There are a number of things patients can do to keep well this winter and reduce pressure on healthcare services.
Dr Sarah Phillips, Clinical Chair of NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “If you take repeat medication which you need to stay well, make sure you check your medication and know when you are likely to run out so that you can order your repeat prescriptions in plenty of time. Remember also to collect your prescription once it’s been ordered.
“If you do run out of your regular medication outside of GP surgery hours then in the first instance talk to your pharmacist who may be able to help
“Register with your GP surgery for ‘GP Online Services’ so that you can then order your repeat prescriptions and book appointments online – it’s a quick, easy and free service and available 24/7. Find out more at www.nhs.uk.”
Top tips for staying well
- Stock up on over the counter medicine for colds and flu for all members of the family so you’re ready if anyone falls ill. It’s a good idea to have an accurate thermometer too, particularly for children. Avoid forehead ones – look for ones that you use under the arm or in the ear.
- Antibiotics are rarely necessary for sore throats or coughs and it is vitally important that they are used only when absolutely necessary. They will have no effect on a viral illness but may give you side effects. If you have a pre-existing condition and think you may have an infection, ring 111 for advice.
- Coughs and colds are very common at this time of year. If you become unwell, stay at home, drink plenty of fluids and use the over the counter remedies you’ve bought. See your GP if a cough lasts for more than three weeks or if it is progressively getting worse.
- Diarrhoea and vomiting bugs are also common. Keep well hydrated by sipping fluids, and stay at home. If you are on tablets for blood pressure or take diuretics ("water tablets"), phone your pharmacy or GP if symptoms last more than 24 hours as you may need to stop them temporarily.
- Try not to spread illness. Use tissues for coughs and sneezes, dispose of them in a bin and wash your hands. If you have diarrhoea and vomiting, stay at home for 48 hours after you last have symptoms to avoid giving it to anyone else.
- Use Health Help Now, the NHS website and app, to find the opening times of pharmacies and other services and for year-round advice on common symptoms including information about local services. Visit www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net or download Health Help Now from Google Play or the App Store.