NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG issues cold weather alert health advice

Published on Feb 26, 2018

With weather forecasters predicting a prolonged period of cold conditions, ice and snow this week, heath chiefs in Scarborough and Ryedale are urging residents to “stay well”.

Cold weather often triggers an increase in demand for NHS services. Ice and snow can lead to an increase in slips and falls, while the cold can lead to poorer health for older people, the very young and those with an existing respiratory illness or infection.

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) says there are measures we can all take to reduce the risk of cold-related ill health and keep NHS resources free for those who need them the most.

Dr Phil Garnett, chairman of NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG, said: “Cold weather is a mere inconvenience for many people, but for others it poses more serious health risks.

“If you have an elderly relative, friend or neighbour, it’s important to check up on them to see if they are keeping warm – ideally homes should be heated to at least 18C.

“We’re also asking people to take extra care when walking or driving during icy conditions. And if you have existing heart or lung problems, or recently had a fall, is a trip out absolutely necessary?

“If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s a cough or a cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious – seek advice from your pharmacist. If you have cold or flu, it’s best to buy medicines like paracetamol over-the-counter from your local supermarket, corner shop or pharmacy. And then stay at home, drink plenty of fluids and keep warm.

“Should you not see an improvement in your illness, get in touch with your GP practice and they should be able to offer you an appointment.

“If you’re not sure where you should go or need medical advice but it’s not an emergency, we’d always recommend dialling ‘111’ to speak with someone who can offer advice and signpost you to the most appropriate service.”

For more information and tips on staying well, please visit the campaign website.

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NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG backs Stay Well Pharmacy campaign

Published on Feb 26, 2018

NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing a national campaign to encourage people to make more use of their local pharmacy to free up GP time for sicker patients and potentially save the NHS around £850 million a year.

Stay Well Pharmacy is a campaign from NHS England which encourages people, especially parents and carers of children under the age of five, to visit their local pharmacy team first for clinical advice for minor health concerns such as sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles, teething and aches and pains.

Dr Greg Black, NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG’s clinical lead for medicine, said: “Pharmacists are available to provide expert health advice and in most cases are conveniently located and easy to access within local communities.

“Pharmacists are able to provide help in managing minor illnesses and give health and wellbeing advice, so they are a useful person to see for minor health concerns.”

Community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are qualified healthcare professionals who are the right people to see if you need clinical advice or over the counter medicines to help safely manage a wide range of minor health concerns.

Pharmacists are trained in managing minor illness and can assess symptoms and recommend the best course of treatment or simply provide reassurance, for instance when a minor illness will get better on its own with a few days’ rest. And if symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, they have the right clinical training to ensure people get the help they need.

With most people living within easy reach of a pharmacy and with many pharmacies offering extended opening hours in the evenings and at weekends, pharmacy teams offer fast and convenient clinical support with no appointment needed. Most community pharmacies (over 90%) now offer a private consultation room, suitable for a confidential conversation, should it be requested.

Using a pharmacy for minor health concerns will help free up GP time for more urgent appointments and help reduce non-emergency A&E visits.

Search www.nhs.uk/staywellpharmacy for more information and to help you find your nearest NHS pharmacy services and opening hours.

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