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Is your medicine cabinet stocked up?

27 February 2015

In Bedfordshire alone, unnecessary prescription medicines cost the local NHS about £1.6m a year which could fund a lot of additional care. Patients and public can help to make more of their local NHS simply by stocking up on over the counter medicines to treat common minor ailments.

Andy Cooke, head of medicines management at Bedfordshire CCG said:

“Having home remedies to hand means peace of mind, and ‘self-care’ is often the best remedy in many instances. Common ailments such as colds, sore throats and coughs do not normally need to be treated with a visit to the GP and antibiotics.

“Instead, the best cure is plenty of rest, keeping warm and a having a good range of medicines in your cabinet.”

Stock up now with the following:

Pain relief – paracetamol and ibuprofen are the most common painkillers and are available in tablet and liquid form. Aspirin and ibuprofen also reduce inflammation. Please note: aspirin should not be given to anyone under the age of 16.

Anti-diarrhoea medicine – make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquid for the first 24 hours when symptoms appear to keep hydrated. Your pharmacist can also recommend rehydration drinks.

Sore throat remedies – ask your pharmacist about sprays to ease soreness. Adults can also gargle with soluble aspirin to ease the pain.

Cough remedies – ask your pharmacist about different types of linctus which will aid different types of coughs, i.e. dry and tickly or loose.

Plasters and bandages – it always pays to be well-stocked in the event of minor cuts and scrapes. Ask your pharmacist about anti-allergy plasters.

Thermometer – can be useful if someone in the family develops a cold or if a young child becomes ill. As a general rule a temperature of over 37.5 (99.5F) is a fever.

Antihistamines – these are useful for allergies and runny noses. Ask your pharmacist about the types available. Some antihistamines cause drowsiness and are not recommended if you are driving or operating machinery.

Antiseptic cream – this is a medicine cabinet essential in the event of cuts and scrapes, as well as bites and stings (which are rarer in winter but can still occur.)

Laxatives – constipation can occur at any time. Ask your pharmacist about the types available (tablets or sachets) and which ones are suitable for children or the elderly.

Children’s medicines – there is a huge variety available to treat a whole range of minor illnesses and conditions. Ask your pharmacist about sugar-free varieties if your child is taking one regularly.

 Anyone can get convenient, expert, confidential advice and treatment for a wide range of common complaints from a high-street pharmacy without having to wait for a GP appointment or attend an A&E department.

Pharmacies can help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries, such as aches and pains, coughs and colds, sore throat, upset stomach and skin rashes. Visit www.nhs.uk/chemist to find more information about your nearest pharmacy including the services they offer and their opening times. Many pharmacies are open late and at weekends.

For further information contact the communications team on 01525 864 406, communications@bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk


Notes to editors

For further health advice, visit the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk/asap

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 441,000 people who live in Bedfordshire. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services.

BCCG is run by GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and other clinicians – the people you see whenever you come into contact with the NHS. All 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members of the CCG which is divided into five areas, which we call localities. These are: Bedford, Chiltern Vale, Leighton Buzzard, Ivel Valley and West Mid Bedfordshire and all of the 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members.

In 2014-2015, BCCG has a budget of approximately £440m to spend on healthcare services for Bedfordshire. You can read more about how BCCG is organised in our constitution. It explains how we operate, make decisions and our governance structures and processes. You can also read our corporate plan which sets out our priorities and aims for 2014-15.

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