As the temperature drops, you’re probably stocking up on cans of soup, and digging out your hat, scarf and gloves from the back of the chest of drawers. Dr. Scott Turner, medical director at the East of England Ambulance Service, and a practising GP gives some useful advice about preparing for winter:
“Before the winter bugs strike, check your medicine cabinet and make sure you have a supply of basics to help you deal with minor illness during the next few months. You don’t have to buy fancy brands, most pharmacy chains and supermarkets have own label versions of many of these remedies that can be bought over the counter or at the checkout. This is what you need:
“If you need medical help or advice but your problem isn’t a 999 emergency you can call 111. The NHS 111 service is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and The service is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, then give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you straightaway to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, an out-of-hours doctor, an urgent care centre or a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
“Don’t forget too that your local pharmacist can offer you free, qualified health advice at any time, and no appointment is necessary. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses and answer any questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.” To find your nearest pharmacist log onto www.nhs.uk