People in Redbridge urged to self care this winter

12 November 2018

People in Redbridge are being urged to take simple steps to stay fit and healthy this winter – with a reminder that caring for yourself can help the NHS. 

Winter is the busiest time for the NHS, with GPs and hospitals under added pressure, but many common illnesses can be treated at home with over-the-counter products and rest. Looking after your own health at home, or visiting your local pharmacy for help and advice, could save you time – and an unnecessary visit to your GP. 

During Self Care Week, which runs until Sunday (November 13 -19), doctors in Redbridge are encouraging people across the borough to do what they can to stay healthy, to be prepared to treat minor ailments, and to know where to seek the right help when they need it. Dr Anil Mehta, a local GP and chair of Redbridge Commissioning Group, said: “As local GPs, we want to support you to look after your own health. Taking simple steps, such as keeping fit and healthy, can help you fight off common winter bugs.

“It’s always useful to keep your medicines cabinet well stocked – that ensures you have a first aid kit available to deal with any minor illnesses or injuries.

“You should also consider having the flu jab every year. If you’re not eligible for a free NHS vaccination, you can arrange one for a small charge at many local pharmacies.”

  • A well-stocked home medicine cabinet might contain:
  • Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Cold and flu remedies
  • Anti-diarrhoeal medicine
  • First aid kit including plasters and bandages
  • Thermometer
  • Tissues

Parents should also have a stock of liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen, and an oral rehydration solution suitable for your child’s age. Ask your pharmacist for advice. You can buy all these items from a local pharmacy or supermarket without a prescription but if you have any questions or would like advice on what medicines you should buy, ask your local pharmacist. For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/livewell/pharmacy 

If you do need health advice in Redbridge this winter, you can seek advice from:

  • Your local pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. You can speak to a pharmacist without having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can advise you how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments, and provide advice on how on how to quit smoking. Many also offer the flu vaccination. To find your local pharmacy and the services it offers, visit nhs.uk.
  • NHS 111 service – If you need medical help quickly, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the free telephone service is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can assess you, offer advice and direct you to the right place to get the medical care you need as quickly as possible.

The best way to tackle ill health is to avoid it in the first place. Making small changes to your lifestyle, such as by staying active or making healthy food choices, can make a big difference to your future health. For more information and advice, visit www.nhs.uk.