Make being healthy top of the list this Christmas

Doctors are urging patients to give themselves the gift of good health this Christmas – and that means being prepared.

Christmas presents are probably wrapped, cards written and the tree decorated. But have the repeat prescriptions been ordered?

Being ill over the winter break is never fun so patients across Bradford and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, are being urged by health professionals to stock up on vital medicines.

The advice has been issued as part of a campaign funded by NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in West Yorkshire. It includes radio adverts and a new website: www.nhsstaywell.org which is an easy-to-access resource for a range of information, aimed at helping people enjoy good health during the winter.

Making sure patients have enough medicines to see them through the holiday period until GP surgeries re-open can not only make a difference to patients’ health but it could also ensure doctors are not called out unnecessarily or that people are not heading to A&E when they don’t need to.

Doctors are also reminding patients of the benefits of using their local pharmacies. Pharmacists are qualified experts in the use of medicines and can give advice on common symptoms, medicines and healthy living.

The pharmacy is also the perfect place for a spot of Christmas “shopping” when it comes to stocking up winter medicine cabinets. Useful items to consider include:

• pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
• cough and cold remedies
• sore throat remedies
• anti-diarrhoea treatments
• antihistamines
• indigestion remedies
• simple dressings and plasters

Dr Aamer Khan, urgent care lead for Bradford City CCG, said: “Winter is a time when demand on emergency services increases dramatically, so it is important that patients think: does this illness or injury really need emergency treatment? Sometimes self-care is the answer, especially for coughs and colds which cannot be treated with antibiotics anyway.

“If patients are taking regular medicines, making sure they have enough stocks to last over the holidays by getting organised with their repeat prescriptions is essential. This could prevent them becoming ill or even avert a medical emergency.”

Dr Colin Renwick, clinical chair at Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, said: “A well-stocked medicine cupboard is essential, especially over winter and the holidays. Having home remedies to hand means peace of mind. People should pop into their local pharmacies and ask for advice about essential items.”

For further information and photo/interview opportunities contact the communications team on: 01274 237717 or communications@wsybcsu.nhs.uk