“Be prepared for minor illness this winter,” NHS urges local residents

“Be prepared for minor illness this winter,” NHS urges local residents image

Home » “Be prepared for minor illness this winter,” NHS urges local residents

With health services under pressure due to high winter demand, the NHS is asking people to think carefully about how they use the NHS and to prepare to treat minor illnesses at home.

You can help the NHS and help yourself by making sure you get the right care, in the right place, at the right time, appropriate for your needs.

  • Use online services if you can, to help keep phone lines clear for those who don’t have online access.
  • Use your local pharmacy for advice and over-the-counter treatment.
  • Try calling the practice later in the day if you don’t need an urgent appointment, as it may be easier to get through.
  • If you make an appointment, please keep it, or cancel in good time if you no longer require it.
  • Get yourself and your loved ones vaccinated to reduce pressure on services from COVID, flu and other respiratory illnesses.

Dr Sarah Whiteman, Chief Medical Director at Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, said:

“The NHS is very busy at the moment, but we are here if you need us.

“Visiting 111 Online at 111.nhs.uk can save you time by directing you to the right service straight away, while also making sure that you don’t take up an appointment which somebody else needs more than you.

“Lots of people go to A&E with minor injuries or illnesses which could be treated more quickly and easily at home.  Your medicines box at home might contain things such as aspirin, paracetamol or ibuprofen tablets which are good for headaches, colds, sore throats and painful bruises; calamine lotion to treat irritated skin; antiseptic for sores, cuts and grazes; plus items such as throat lozenges, indigestion remedies and something to treat diarrhoea or constipation.

“It also makes sense to have a few basic items such as a selection of plasters, bandages and sterile dressings in different sizes, tweezers for removing splinters, and a thermometer to monitor fevers.

“By using services carefully, you’ll be helping NHS staff to make the best use of their time and resources, while reducing pressure on the busiest parts of the local health system.”

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