Pharmacists in East Staffordshire are reminding us that they can offer the best help when it comes to common ailments like coughs, colds, sore throats, hay fever and insect bites.
Tim Hames, a pharmacist in Uttoxeter, says: "All pharmacists are fully trained to give you professional medical advice, with a wide range of over-the-counter medications available. If you are exempt from prescription charges you may qualify to receive the medication free from the NHS on the Pharmacy First Common Ailments service.
"You don't need to book an appointment and most pharmacies now have private consultation rooms so you can talk privately."
Taking a few steps could mean that if we're under the weather during the spring, we can look after ourselves at home.
1 - Stock up on over-the-counter medicines so you're well prepared to treat minor conditions;
- Pain relief like paracetamol and ibuprofen
- Antihistamines that relieve any allergic reactions or attacks of hay fever in the spring
- Medicines for sore throats, coughs, cold and flu
- Diarrhoea relief, constipation relief and antacids to alleviate any stomach problems
2 – If it's not an emergency but you're unsure of what help you need, pop in to see your local pharmacist or call the NHS111 service. It's free, open 24/7 and is staffed by fully trained advisers supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask questions about your symptoms and give you healthcare advice or direct you to the local service that is best for you and your needs.
3 - Antibiotics are not the 'cure-all' some people think they are. For the most common viral illnesses like coughs and colds, the over the counter treatments are the best thing as you let nature take its course.
4 - If you're caring for yourself, it's worth knowing how long minor conditions take to go away; A sore throat will take around a week to clear up, common colds around 10 days and coughs or bronchitis can take up to 21 days. If you're unsure what to do or your symptoms are getting worse, call NHS 111, see your pharmacist, or call your GP.
As well as NHS 111 and your local pharmacist, you can also get health advice through the NHS Choices website - www.nhs.uk. Ends
Notes to Editors
For more information about pharmacy services and their opening hours over Easter see: http://staffsandstokepharmacies.co.uk/