If you're feeling under the weather this winter seek medical advice

Friday, 31 October 2014

North Bristol NHS Trust is supporting the NHS winter campaign, ‘Feeling under the weather?’

The campaign urges older people to seek early advice from their pharmacist for minor winter illnesses.  It is targeted at the over 60s, and also at those aged 45 and above who often look after an older friend, neighbour or relative.

If you’re over 60 a minor illness can get worse quickly.  The campaign encourages people with a bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat, to pop down to their local pharmacy for quick health advice. 

It also asks those caring for or visiting an older friend or relative to get early advice from their local pharmacist or from www.nhs.uk/asap if they are feeling under the weather.

People often don’t seek advice for their wheezes, coughs and sneezes because they don’t think it’s serious enough, or they don’t want to waste their pharmacist’s time.  But no problem is too small for your local pharmacist, who is a highly trained and trusted source of health advice.

Kirsten Jones, lead emergency department consultant at Southmead Hospital Bristol, said: “We see a lot of patients in the emergency department who may not have ended up in hospital if they had accessed medical advice sooner.

"If you become unwell, particularly if you are over the age of 60 or have an existing medical condition, visit your pharmacist for support and advice as it may stop your condition becoming much worse.”

Richard Brown, Chief Officer at Avon Local Pharmacy Committee which represents local pharmacists in South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset, said: “Evidence shows us that older people are much more likely to end up having to be admitted to hospital during the winter months with conditions that, with some advice and support from a pharmacist, could have been treated.”

The campaign will run from 27 October for six weeks, and adverts will appear on the radio and press, as well in supermarkets and local pharmacies.

5 Top Tips if you’re feeling under the weather

  1. If you are feeling under the weather, seek advice from your local pharmacist.
    Pharmacists are experts in providing medical information and advice and have at least five years’ medical training, and often a lot more.  You can just drop in to see your pharmacist and many have private consultation areas.  They can also advise on any over the counter remedies available and, if you need specialist medical advice, can point you in the right direction.
  2. Don’t delay, visit today
    Taking action early really can help, with many conditions worsening over time.  If you’re coughing, sneezing or wheezing, get some help.
  3. Maintain a well-stocked medicine cabinet
    There are lots of things that you can buy to ease your discomfort when suffering.  For details of the types of things you should keep in the house, visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Pharmacy/Pages/Yourmedicinecabinet.aspx.  Remember though, if you do have a medicine cabinet, ensure that all medicines are kept out of the reach of children.
  4. Know where your pharmacist is
    When you’re not feeling well it’s tough to know where to go, so why not make a note of your local pharmacy.
  5. Keep an eye on older friends, relatives or neighbours
    The winter can be a difficult time, particularly for older people.  This year, do your bit and make sure you keep an eye on elderly friends, relatives or neighbours.  Whether it’s a quick phone call or a visit, it all helps.  If they’re too unwell to visit their local pharmacy, why not offer to visit on their behalf?