Advice if you get ill over Christmas

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Sheffield residents are being reminded that there are a whole range of NHS services available across the city this Christmas, not just A&E.

Pharmacists can offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains as well as advising you on the safe use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. They can also help you decide whether you need to see a doctor.

If you need medical attention when your GP practice is closed you can access the GP out-of-hours service by calling 111. This Freephone service can give you advice about which NHS services are open and able to help you with your problem. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Walk-in services treat minor illnesses and injuries that do not need a visit to A&E. The Broad Lane Walk in Centre is open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year and sees people of all ages without an appointment.

The Minor Injuries Unit, at the Royal Hallamshire hospital is open from 8am – 8pm every day of the year (except Christmas Day) and provides treatment for adults with less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes. Many people go to A&E with minor injuries, when they could usually be treated much more quickly at the Minor Injuries Unit.

Dr StJohn Livesey, Sheffield GP and Clinical Director for Urgent Care at NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “There are many health services available for less serious conditions and injuries and we urge people to use them. Please bear in mind that the A&E department is for serious and life threatening emergencies only, but of course if it is an emergency visit the Northern General Hospital for over 16s and Sheffield Children’s Hospital for 16s and under.

“A lot of common and minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, sore throats and upset stomachs can be treated in your home by using over the counter medicine so please make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet to deal with minor illnesses and accidents.

“Please also ensure that you have enough of all your regular medications to see you through the Christmas period.”

For more information and for a list of health services open over Christmas visit www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk and look under ‘Stay Well’.