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18 December 2012
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has published details of pharmacy opening times for the Christmas and New Year period, so that people know where they can go for advice and treatment on minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, flu and tummy upsets.
People wanting to find details of pharmacies open over the festive season, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, can click here
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group Head of Medicines Management, Andy Cooke, said: “Pharmacies are an excellent alternative to visiting your GP or walk-in centre for healthcare advice and so we have arranged pharmacy cover throughout the Christmas period so that people can continue to use these important services every day of the year.
“I would advise households to make sure they have basic medication in their first aid box over the Christmas period so that they can treat minor illnesses and injuries themselves. Simple painkillers, indigestion remedies, anti-diarrhoeal medicine, rehydration mixture, plasters and a thermometer are all available from local pharmacies with their advice.
“If you are on prescription medication then it is also a good idea to check that you have enough medication to last you through the Christmas period, although there is no need to over order, as surgeries and pharmacies will be open as normal on all other days.”
If you need medical advice over the Christmas period then you can visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
The message from the NHS this Christmas is to take the time to choose the right service for your symptoms and to only call 999 or go to A&E in an emergency.
Top tips for non emergencies
Not all ailments need assistance from an NHS service – coughs, colds and sore throats may be best treated at home by ensuring a well stocked medicine cabinet. If you have symptoms of flu or a heavy cold, stay at home, rest, keep warm and take plenty of fluids. Remember antibiotics do not work on viral infections such as coughs and colds. The best way to stop coughs, colds and flu spreading is to Catch it, Bin it, Kill it - use a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes, throw it away as soon as possible, and wash your hands straight away with soap and water.
NHS Direct offers lots of great advice and help if you’re feeling unwell or unsure visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or if you need to talk to an advisor anytime please call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
Your local pharmacy
Visit your local pharmacy for advice on treating common winter illnesses and minor infections and the best medicines to use. To find your nearest pharmacy go to www.nhs.uk or text ‘pharmacy’ to 64747 for free details.
Your local GP
Patients suffering more painful or serious illnesses that won’t go away should call their local GP surgery. People over 65, pregnant or in an at risk group, should contact their GP surgery for their free flu jab if they haven’t already done so.
GP out of hours services
If you need to see a GP when the surgery is closed call your GP surgery and you will be directed to the out of hours service for information and contact details.
Walk In Centres
If you have a minor illness and/or injury such as a scald or sprain that doesn’t require an A&E visit but you can’t wait for a GP appointment, visit your nearest Walk-in Centre (open every day, including bank holidays). Visit www.nhs.uk for details of your nearest walk-in centre.
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is a new organisation, run and led by GPs and other local clinicians, that has been created to take over responsibility for commissioning healthcare from NHS Bedfordshire primary care trust in 2013. BCCG, which comprises the 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire, will have a budget of more than £400m to plan and buy healthcare services for the 430,000 people who live in Bedfordshire.