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Do you know where to go for health advice this Christmas? Stay well by choosing the right care, first time

Do you know where to go for health advice this Christmas? Stay well by choosing the right care, first time
20 December 2019

LOCAL people are being urged to choose the right care for their symptoms, helping health services to help them to stay well this Christmas and treat those most in need as health services go through an extremely busy time.

Health services across Rotherham experience extreme pressure at Christmas, however help is at hand for those who need it. Several Rotherham pharmacies will be open when other health services and shops are closed over the Christmas and New Year holidays if you need to buy over-the-counter medicines because you’re unwell.

Remember, your local pharmacist is a mine of useful health care information if you’re feeling under the weather. They are highly qualified to give advice on a wide range of common health problems and the best medicines to treat them. They prescribe from a range of medications so you don’t even have to go to your doctor for some things.

There will be pharmacies open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Opening times for pharmacies across Rotherham can be viewed on the NHS Rotherham CCG website at www.rotherhamccg.nhs.uk/pharmacy.htm 

The 24 hour helpline, NHS 111, is open throughout Christmas to provide advice when you are feeling ill. If you urgently need to see a doctor on bank holidays (Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) or when your practice is closed NHS 111 can arrange for an appointment with an out-of-hours doctor.

With one in four adults developing mental health problems in any one year, Christmas can be a difficult time for many people. It’s important to know that there is always someone to talk to. If you need urgent help please call the crisis team on 01709 302670 or the Samaritans on 116 123 for 24 hour support.

Dr David Clitherow, local GP and GP lead for urgent care at NHS Rotherham CCG, said: “Most ailments and illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, aches and pains can be self-treated at home with a well-stocked medicines cabinet. NHS 111 and pharmacists are highly qualified to give advice on a wide range of common health problems and the best way to treat them.

“At this time of year most people, especially children, get coughs and colds, however pharmacists can prescribe free oral paracetamol. The best way to look after someone with a cold or cough is to make sure they have plenty to drink and if they have a temperature, paracetamol will help. You do not need to visit a doctor, instead if the symptoms persist you should contact your pharmacy to get the right medicine for your illness.”

Local GP practices will be open as normal, 8am - 6.30pm, up to Tuesday 24th December. They will re-open on Friday 27th December, also opening on Monday 30th December and Tuesday 31st December 2019.

The NHS in Rotherham is providing extended access appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professionals are now available for all Rotherham people in the evenings and weekends across Rotherham, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The receptionist at patients’ own practice can book an appointment and advise where to attend. 

Choosing the right treatment over the next couple of weeks will help patients get better quicker and help clinicians to help those in most need of medical attention.