NANTWICH GP Annabel London has put together a checklist to help people stay well.
Dr London, a GP at the Kiltearn Medical Centre in the Church View Primary Care Centre, Nantwich, is also a member of the governing body of NHS South Cheshire CCG.
She said: “As the cold weather continues I know that GP practices like mine will be very busy.
“I want to make sure that I will be able to see the most seriously ill patients, so I’ve put together this short checklist to make sure people are as prepared as possible so they can avoid having to make an appointment at the doctor’s surgery.”
Is your medicine cabinet fit for winter?
“Pharmacies, shops and supermarkets all sell a range of over the counter medicines for tackling minor ailments from a headache to upset stomachs and indigestion.
Having these ready to home could help relieve any discomfort, without you having to head out to the when all you really want to do is stay wrapped up in the warm.”
Make sure you have enough prescription medication.
“Take the time to count up and check you’ve got enough medication, making sure you’ve left yourself time to get your repeat prescription and collect it from the pharmacy.”
Check in on a relative or neighbour.
“While you’re looking after yourself, why not make sure that your relatives or neighbours are well and warm? It’s particularly important for those who have problems walking, the elderly or frail - especially if the weather takes a turn and we have ice or snow.
Age UK Cheshire provides services for older people and you can call them on 01606 720434 for information and advice or contact the helpline for older people The Silver Line on 0800 4 70 80 90.”
You could see a pharmacist.
“For minor ailments, like coughs and colds, you could go and see a pharmacist. It’s free, it’s friendly and you don’t need an appointment. Some of our local pharmacies also have private consultation rooms. Pharmacists are medically trained, so can give you professional advice on a wide range of treatments and have a varied selection of over the counter remedies.”
Dr London added: “By following these simple steps to look after yourself and others in your local community, you could not only help ease your symptoms and avoid a visit to your GP practice, you will also help to free up appointments so that the primary care team are able to have enough time to see patients with serious conditions who need our help and advice.”
You can also get advice on non-urgent medical problems by calling NHS111, which is open 24/7 and free from any mobile or landline. There is also useful information on symptoms and treatments on the NHS Choice website at www.nhs.uk