Preparation is the key and to help keep everybody’s health in tip-top shape GPs from independent healthcare organisation Care UK have put together some handy advice to help people to be prepared for any health-related issues over the festive break.
Top of their list is to make sure any prescriptions and medicines are up-to-date. If you don’t have enough to cover the Christmas and New Year period now is the time to contact your GP or visit your local pharmacy to stock up.
Next, put together a winter first-aid kit and make sure you have all eventualities covered. As well as basic items such as plasters, painkillers and antiseptic cream, ensure you have a stock of cold, cough and flu relief, as well as indigestion tablets and rehydration salts.
It’s also important to check that older relatives and neighbours are prepared for the holiday period and can keep themselves warm, well fed and healthy. Make sure everybody has a list of important telephone numbers, including the local GP practice, and their opening hours over Christmas. Knowing what arrangements are in place for urgent health issues over the bank holidays or in the evenings will also help if assistance is needed out-of-hours.
Finally, if you’re staying with friends or family and won’t be close to your GP, make sure you know where to go for urgent healthcare advice. There are many options to choose from, including NHS Direct, walk-in centres and urgent care centres.
NHS Direct provides trusted advice for all health issues, NHS walk-in centres will allow you to see a doctor and receive treatment even if you aren’t registered locally, and urgent care centres act as the first point of call for the most urgent healthcare issues which can’t wait until a GP surgery re-opens but aren’t serious enough for a visit to A&E.
Titus Bradley, primary care medical director at Care UK, said: “Christmas is a time for fun but accidents do happen. Having to cut short your Christmas dinner for a trip to A&E should be a last resort and the many walk-in centres and urgent care centres open over the holidays are there to help people who have less serious injuries or illnesses.”
Anyone who needs to find information for Care UK’s healthcare services over the holiday period should visit the Care UK website. NHS Direct can be reached by visiting its website or calling 0845 4647.