Winter self-care can help reduce strain on GPs

Winter self-care can help reduce strain on GPs

Published by The Wessex FM News Team at 8:23am 24th December 2019. (Updated at 8:40am 24th December 2019)

Dorset CCG's urging us to support our own health to reduce the Winter pressure on local NHS services.

We're being urged to consider simple self-care techniques this by the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group. 

Local NHS services are anticipating a seasonal increase in pressures on GP practices and hospitals, with residents more likely to be affected by winter-related illnesses including common coughs and colds, flu and norovirus.

Under NHS England advice, GPs are unable to prescribe medicines which can be bought from local pharmacists or supermarkets for a range of minor illnesses, including:

  • sore throats
  • cold sores
  • conjunctivitis
  • coughs
  • diarrhoea
  • indigestion
  • heartburn
  • headaches
ill flu cold

The CCG says that by cutting down on these costs, our local NHS can spend money more effectively.

Over 140 pharmacies across Dorset offer late, weekend and bank holidays opening hours.

You can find your nearest pharmacy along with opening times here.

NEW Well Pharmacy

Katherine Gough, chief pharmacist at NHS Dorset CCG, commented:

"Make your local pharmacist your first port of call this winter. Generally, over-the-counter medicines will help ease symptoms of common winter illnesses. 

"Most conditions will clear up on their own, but if your illness does persist, visit your pharmacist again and they will be able to advise if a GP appointment is necessary. Most pharmacies offer consultation rooms if you would like to discuss your illness in private.

"Over the Christmas period, allow some extra time for prescriptions. To save you time, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about arranging electronic prescriptions. If you're visiting family or friends elsewhere and require emergency medication, pharmacists will be able to advise and in may provide you with a short-term supply."