NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging local people to prepare now for the Christmas and New Year festive season and stock up on medicines.
At this time of year it’s easy to forget about health. But, several consecutive public holidays take place during the Christmas and New Year periods, and GPs, pharmacies and other healthcare service providers will all operate a reduced service.
There are several easy ways to prepare for a healthy, happy Christmas and New Year:
- If you have a medical condition requiring medication, ensure you order sufficient supplies to cover the whole holiday period, and any trips away you have planned. Contact your pharmacy or GP by phone, online or in person in good time to order your repeat prescriptions.
- Stock up on home medicine cabinet essentials suitable for all the family: painkillers, hangover and indigestion remedies, cough and cold medicines, contraceptives, and a minor injury first aid kit are all sensible items to have to hand, and all are readily available from local pharmacies.
- Find out what health services will be open locally during the festive period. Check up on local pharmacies’ and other NHS services’ opening hours by visiting Health Help Now at www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net or download the free app Health Help Now to your phone.
- Use Health Help Now which contains a wealth of expert advice on keeping well. This NHS app has information on which local services are open, including pharmacies able to supply an emergency prescription.
The CCG is also urging people to keep a check on relatives, friends and neighbours to ensure they have everything they need to keep themselves healthy and happy over the festive season. Older people are particularly at risk during the colder weather. During 2015-16, people in the 65-84 year age group accounted for over six million hospital admissions, according to NHS data.
Dr Adrian McLachlan of NHS Lambeth CCG said: “The final weeks of the calendar year can see the longest waiting times for A&E even though for two in every five people, the wait is unnecessary, as they will not need any treatment.
“We want people to enjoy themselves this Christmas and New Year, and with a little bit of health planning, there is no reason why that should not be the case. There is plenty of information and resources available to help people take care of themselves and to stay well this winter.”