Holidaymakers looking forward to enjoying a summer break in England are being urged to make the most of pharmacists and NHS 111 should illness strike while they are away from home. NHS Warwickshire North and NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) is encouraging people to go to the right place if they need help with their health on holiday.
NHS 111 is the number to call when medical help or advice is needed urgently but it is not a life-threatening situation. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.
Pharmacists can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, and people won’t need to wait for a GP appointment. If someone has forgotten their medicine and are without it on holiday, then they can visit a pharmacist who can arrange for it to be sent to that pharmacy. To find a local pharmacy or GP surgery, visit NHS Choices online at www.nhs.uk or call 0300 311 22 33.
Although holiday health may be one of the last things on people’s minds when packing, a visit to the local pharmacy before heading off either home or abroad should feature in everyone’s preparations. A basic first aid kit will help with minor ailments, such as stomach upsets, allergies, headaches, sunburn, insect bites, aches and sprains and strains.
The really useful interactive first aid kit guide at www.nhs.uk can help ensure holidaymakers have everything they need.
Dr Deepika Yadav, a GP in the Coventry and Warwickshire area, said: "It's important to make the most of pharmacies and the NHS 111 service should anyone be feeling unwell while they are on holiday in England.
“NHS 111 trained advisors are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can provide advice about minor illnesses.
“Many people don’t realise the wide range of additional services available at pharmacists, who do much more than dispensing prescriptions. They offer free expert advice on a wide range of health issues, support for self-care and medicines to treat common complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, sore throats, earache, backache, stomach upsets and cuts and grazes.
“Anyone taking regular medicines on prescription, should ensure that they have enough medication to cover their holiday period.”
For a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies and dentists while on holiday visit the NHS.uk website: www.nhs.uk. It also includes a symptom checker.