Tackling those winter ailments

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RESIDENTS are being reminded by their local NHS of the full range of healthcare options available to them over the winter period.

Some health problems only appear, flare-up or become much more common when the temperature drops.

But there are lots of different ways people can access the right NHS service and make sure they get the right treatment and at the right time and place that is convenient for them — from pharmacies for over-the-counter advice to minor injuries and walk-in centres where no appointment is needed.

The Choose Well campaign uses a colour-coded thermometer to help people to link their symptoms with a particular NHS service which is right for their need.

Dr Mike Guy, medical director for NHS North of Tyne and working on behalf of Newcastle Primary Care Trust (PCT), North Tyneside PCT and Northumberland Care Trust, said: “There are lots of ways people can get the right treatment over the winter period.

“You can get expert advice from your local community pharmacy, go to an NHS walk-in centre or minor injury clinic, go online at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

“NHS Direct will be able to give you help and advice as well as opening times for all out-of-hours NHS services and community pharmacies.”

Self-care is one focus of the Choose Well campaign and people are being encouraged to keep their medicine cabinets fully stocked over the winter period.

If you have a long-term health condition that you manage with regular prescription medicine, then don’t forget to check and make sure you have enough medication to last in case the weather turns severe and you are unable to get out for a short period.