With December and January a favourite time for bugs, people often turn up at hospitals with minor illnesses and injuries that could often be better treated more quickly elsewhere, or at home.
So before the holiday schedule gets too hectic, GPs are suggesting that people check their medicine cabinet to make sure they have the following basics:
- your usual painkillers
- cold and flu remedies
- oral rehydration salts (especially for children)
- indigestion remedies
Dr Jo Roberts, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group’s lead for medicines optimisation, said: “The last thing anyone wants in the run-up to Christmas is to be ill.
“Unfortunately, every winter, colds, flu, stomach bugs and other ailments are all too common, which is why we are urging people to stock up on their medicine-cabinet essentials.
“People should check that any medicines already in their cabinet are still okay to use. If some medicines are past their use-by date, people shouldn’t take them. They should return them to their local pharmacy for safe disposal.
“Also, anyone who needs repeat prescriptions for their regular medicines is recommended to ensure that these are ordered in time.”
Dr Roberts said that pharmacists also have an important role during the holidays.
He added: “They are highly trained professionals who can offer free health advice at any time, and no appointment is necessary.
“From coughs and colds to aches and pains, pharmacists can give expert help on everyday illnesses and answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.
“Throughout the year, pharmacists can also advise on healthy eating, obesity and giving up smoking, and they have private areas where you can talk in confidence.”Follow