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Help Us to Help You This Winter

Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease. Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

It’s important to keep warm in winter

Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems.

  • Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F)
  • Keep active when your indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour
  • Wear several layers of light clothes, several layers trap warm air better than one bulky layer
  • Close your curtains at dusk and keep doors closed to keep out any draughts
  • Get your heating system checked regularly by a qualified professional

You may be able to claim financial and practical help with heating your home. Grants available include Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment.

Feeling unwell? Don’t wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist
At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious. Act quickly. The sooner you get advice from a pharmacist the better. Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action. This can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal. If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.

Have you had the flu jab?
The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly. That’s why the flu jab is free if you’re aged 65 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition. If you have young children or grandchildren they may also be eligible for a free flu vaccination. And if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person you may also be eligible for the free flu jab. Just speak to your GP receptionist or pharmacist.

All About Flu and How to Stop Getting It Leaflet

Help Us Help You Leaflet


Antibiotics are not always the answer

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can make you become resistant to the, which means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.

If you or a family member feel unwell, have a cold or flu and you haven’t been prescribed antibiotics, there are some effective self-care ways to help you feel better:

  • Ask your Pharmacist to recommend medicines to help with symptoms or pain
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Make sure you or your child drink enough to avoid feeling thirsty
  • Fever is a sign the body is fighting the infection and usually gets better by itself in most cases
  • You can use paracetamol if you or your child are uncomfortable as a result of a fever
  • Make sure you use a tissue for your nose and wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading your infection to family and friends

How long should my symptoms last for?
Here are a few guidelines to help you judge how long some common illnesses and symptoms should last for: Common illnesses Most people are better by Earache (middle ear infection) 8 days Sore throat 7–8 days Sinusitis (adults only) 14–21 days Cold 14 days Cough or bronchitis 21 days.

Common Illnesses Most people are better by
Earache (Middle ear infection) 8 days
Sore throat 7 – 8 days
Sinusitis (adults only) 14 – 21 days
Cold 14 days
Cough or bronchitis 21 days

If you’re not starting to feel better by these guide times, contact your GP or call NHS 111.

For more information, and what signs you need to look out for which may be symptoms of a more serious conditions, download Public Health Englands Antibiotics Leaflet


Know you numbers

Do you know your risks of high blood pressure numbers?

High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. The only way to know you have it is to have a blood pressure check.

The facts

  • High blood pressure contributes to half of all heart attacks in the UK
  • High blood pressure is the biggest cause of chronic kidney disease
  • Those with high blood pressure are three times more likely to develop heart disease
  • High blood pressure causes 60% of preventable strokes in the UK
  • High blood pressure increases the risk of vascular dementia

You can get your blood pressure checked at a number of places.

  • Some pharmacies
  • Your GP Practice (some practices even have a device in reception available to use)
  • Some workplaces
  • At home – you can now buy blood pressure monitors to use at home

If you are worried about your blood pressure, book your appointment at your practice.

You can find out more information about ‘Know Your Number’ week at their website.


Organ Donation Week

This week is organ donation week and this years campaign is aimed at encouraging people to share their organ donation decision with their families.

Many people don’t realise that family support id needed for organ donations to go ahead. Have you ever talked about organ donation with your family? If not, chat to them about it during organ donation week! It makes a difficult situation easier when families have already had a conversation about organ donation.

You can also register to become an organ donor at the organ donation website.


Snack well this Summer

It can be even more of a challenge during the summer holidays to make sure your little ones aren’t eating too many sugary snacks.

Too much sugar can lead to the build up of harmful fat on the inside that we can’t see. This fat around vital organs can cause weight gain and serious diseases in the future like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

There is a surprising amount of sugar in popular kids drinks and snacks, so the NHS Change4Life programme have a number of healthy drink and snack alternatives for you try such as:

  • Fruit kebabs
  • Watermelon fruit lollies
  • Carrot sticks
  • Apple and celery rice cakes
  • Carrot and courgette muffins
  • Adding fruit pieces to water

Many more alternatives and healthy recipes can be found on the Change4Life website.

Too much sugar can also lead to painful tooth decay and shockingly in England, every 10 minutes a child has a rotten tooth removed in hospital. You can help stop tooth decay by ensuring your child:

  • Has less sugary drinks and snacks
  • Brushes their teeth twice a day
  • Only has fruit juice once a day and with a meal rather than sipping it throughout the day
  • Has regular check-ups at the dentist

You can find your nearest NHS dentist at NHS Choices.


Have you got everything you need in your first aid kit for the Summer Holidays?

The schools are out for summer which means the fun can begin! We may not be able to predict the weather for the holidays but we can prepare for any minor illnesses or injuries that may occur. Having a well-stocked first aid kit at home can help when you need to self care for minor ailments and injuries.

There are a number of things you can have in your first aid kit for any such eventualities:

  • Thermometer
  • Painkillers such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen (or infant paracetamol for children)
  • Cough medicine
  • Throat lozenges
  • Diarrhoea relief
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Plasters
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile gauze dressings
  • Bandages
  • Alcohol-free cleansing wipes

Your local Pharmacy is a great place to stock up on all the above items and you can find your nearest one and view their opening hours at NHS Choices.

Please remember to make sure your first aid kit is kept in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children.


We now offer Electronic Prescribing

We now offer electronic prescribing. All you need to do to be part of this is sign up at either the practice or your chosen pharmacy.


Don’t let hay fever ruin your summer

From now until September is when the pollen count is at its highest.

Some of the symptoms of hay fever can include:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Loss of smell
  • Pain around your temples and forehead
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Feeling tired

If you are having any of the above symptoms or are feeling the effects of hay fever, visit your local pharmacist as they can provide advise and treatments to suit your symptoms. You could also try:

  • not drying your washing outside when pollen levels are high
  • showering and changing your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash any pollen away
  • wearing wraparound sunglasses when you go outside to stop the pollen from irritating your eyes
  • putting Vaseline around your nose to trap pollen
  • keeping windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • vacuuming regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • staying indoors when the pollen count is high

You can keep an eye on the pollen forecast on the Met Office Website.


How you can stay safe in the sun

Sunburn can not only be very painful but it also increases the risk of skin cancer. It’s easy to be safe when outside enjoying the sunshine whether that’s on holiday or at home simply by following these tips to ensure you don’t burn.

1) Apply sunscreen
Apply a good amount of sunscreen of at least factor 15 and four-star UVA rating. You should follow the guidance on the bottle of how often you should reapply.

After swimming or being in water, you should always reapply sunscreen after you’ve got out and dried off, even if you use water-resistant sunscreen.

2)Spend time in the shade
Stay in the shade between the hottest hours of the day 11am & 3pm.

3)Cover up
Wear suitable clothing and sunglasses

4)Drink plenty
Drink plenty of water or juice throughout the day to keep hydrated.

5)Take extra care
You should take extra care in the sun if you:
– have pale, white or light brown skin
– have freckles or red/fair har
– tend to burn rather than tan
– have many moles
– have a family history of skin cancer

How to cope with Sunburn

If you do get sunburnt follow these steps to try and ease your discomfort.

  • Cool your skin by having a cold bath or shower or by holding a cool flannel or sponge to it
  • Use lotions containing Aloe Vera to soothe and moisturise your skin
  • Drink plenty of water to cool you down and prevent dehydration
  • Take painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve pain

If you feel unwell or are concerned about your sunburn, call NHS 111 for advice.

You can find more information on protecting yourself in the sun at NHS Choices.