Doctors in Kent and Medway are encouraging people to be ready for winter by stocking up medicine cabinets, ordering repeat prescriptions in plenty of time and visiting their local pharmacist at the first sign of illness.
Pharmacists can give free help and advice on many minor illnesses, such as colds or fever, which can be safely treated at home without the need to see a doctor.
Dr Navin Kumta, Chair of NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Now is the time to plan ahead to help get you and your family through the winter season. Pick up any prescription medications you need before the Christmas holidays start as many GPs and pharmacies will close during the festive period.
"It is also important to make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home, which should include paracetamol, cold remedies, plasters, tweezers and a thermometer.
“Ask for advice from your pharmacist at the first sign of feeling ill – don’t wait for it to become more serious. They will be happy to talk to you about a cough or a cold and can sell a range of medication without the need for a prescription.
“If you urgently need medical care when your GP practice is closed and the pharmacy can’t help, please ring NHS 111 for advice or go online. It can help you find the right service, whether that’s advice over the phone or to book you an appointment at an urgent treatment centre.”
Find out more about the services on offer at www.stopthinkchoose.co.uk, along with a map of pharmacies and opening times.