Health chiefs are advising people in Derbyshire to take advantage of the services available at their local pharmacy to help nip winter illness in the bud.
The NHS is reminding patients that if they seek help soon after the first signs of a winter illness appear, a pharmacist can recommend over-the-counter remedies to relieve symptoms and give advice you how to stay healthy.
This is particularly important for older people and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because winter illnesses can have serious consequences for already weakened immune systems if left untreated.
Dr Ken Deacon, medical director for NHS England in Derbyshire, said: “Most of us accept that coughs and colds are just a part of life during the winter, and if you manage to last all the way through the season without picking anything up, you’re doing really well!
“The majority of winter illnesses are best treated at home, but that doesn’t mean you have to struggle on alone without help.
“Your local pharmacist can give you advice on the best way to manage your illness and let you know if there are any remedies available to alleviate some of the symptoms.
“You don’t have to book an appointment and with many pharmacies open late in the evening and at weekends, it’s an easier way to access medical advice at a time that’s convenient for you.
“And if your pharmacist thinks your illness is something more serious than just an everyday cough or cold – particularly if you’re already living with a long-term health condition – they’ll be able to pick up on the signs and advise you to see your GP.”
For more information on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.