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What we have to say about your health and well being
What we have to say about your health and well being
A & E Crisis
I’m sure everyone has seen plenty of headlines this winter about the A & E crisis and the severe pressures this has placed on the NHS. Overflowing A & E departments, long waiting times and bed shortages have frequently been in the news. Unfortunately, while this has been a severe winter with greater consequences, it is not an isolated incident. It has been a reality for many years, and as demand on the NHS grows, the situation is likely to worsen.
Not only does this mean patients do not get the best treatment, it can also be very inconvenient and distressing. This is probably more pronounced for the elderly in Totley as travelling to A & E can be difficult and even asking a neighbour to take you can be difficult when you don’t know how long the wait could be. In such times, GP surgeries can also become overburdened.
While sometimes a visit to A & E or your GP is necessary, many times the problem can be resolved easier through other avenues. As well as self-treatment options such as rest, drinking plenty of fluids and using simple remedies such as paracetamol, visiting a pharmacy can be effective, quick and convenient. Indeed, the NHS has launched a “Treat Yourself Better With Pharmacist Advice” as a response to the winter crisis. This is hoped to reduce the burden on the NHS and improve patient treatment and satisfaction. It is also hoped that self-treatment rather than patients obtaining prescriptions for antibiotics will reduce the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance. Actually, in many cases antibiotics are ineffective since many colds are caused by viruses. With at least five years of experience to qualify and a wealth of knowledge about how best to treat minor symptoms, pharmacists are well placed to provide people with personalised advice for how they can self-treat many minor illnesses. We have a range of products which we can recommend. We will also refer you to other options when appropriate, for instance if we feel your symptoms may have been present too long or if we see any warning signs suggesting stronger treatment is required. A very useful resource is also www.treatyourselfbetter.co.uk
We also offer a Minor Ailments service which is free and funded by the NHS. This can be used to obtain treatment for a variety of minor illnesses throughout the year which do not require seeing a Doctor. Not only is this service very convenient for patients, it is very cost-effective for the NHS. Research suggests a national Minor Ailments service could save the NHS £1 billion per year. Figures show treating common ailments such as coughs and colds through such a service is 5 times cheaper for the NHS than A & E. Please call in for more information or to find out which conditions can be treated and what medicines are available through this service (conditions include conjunctivitis, diarrhoea, hay fever, and threadworm to mention just a few).
I hope that after almost two decades of serving the Totley community, most local people would feel comfortable discussing any such issues with me, but we do have a private consultation room where we can have a chat. Please feel free to pop in at any time even it if only to discuss how to maintain good health; we stock a wide range of supplements and vitamins too. We are also fortunate in Totley having David and his team at Synergy who offer natural alternatives.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
New continuous cough and/or
loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness If you have coronavirus symptoms:
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home
Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section below for more information
If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
If you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible