Keep your medicine cabinet stocked and practise self-care, say health experts

Health experts in Shropshire are advising residents to practise self-care when possible, as A&E departments are set to get busier over the coming months.

Pharmacies can ease burden on NHS
Pharmacies can ease burden on NHS

Experts at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin say "we must all play our part in accessing the right care for our healthcare needs" by self-treating at home if possible to do so.

A new campaign launched this week recommends that medicine cabinets at home are kept #stockedandlocked – stocked with essential medicines and products, as well as locked and out of the reach of children.

Both pharmacists and GPs advise that medicine cabinets should include painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, indigestion treatments, and a first aid kit containing a thermometer, plasters and bandages.

These over-the-counter treatments are available in high street stores and supermarkets and are often cheaper than prescriptions.

Pharmacists also offer free help and advice on many minor illnesses, such as colds, coughs or fever, and can recommend the most effective medication to safely treat symptoms at home without the need to see a doctor.

Dr Ian Chan, Telford GP and place-based care clinical lead at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “This winter all NHS services will be very busy, so we must all play our part in accessing the right care for our healthcare needs.

“With A&E departments and minor injury units set to get even busier over the coming months, we’re asking people across the county to practise self-care where possible.

“Looking after yourself when you’re feeling under the weather is easy if you already have a well-stocked (and locked) medicine cabinet.

“You can get advice and purchase medicines at little cost from community pharmacies, as well as many other stores, rather than getting a prescription.

Claire Hand, lead medicines optimisation pharmacy technician at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “My recommendation is to use self-care remedies at the first sign of illness and to seek advice from your local pharmacist if your symptoms persist.

“Your local pharmacist is there to provide help with common illnesses and can offer a range of low-cost medication, often much cheaper than a prescription, to ensure your medicine cabinets are well-stocked and ready to go when illness strikes.”

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