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Dr Richard Davies - health column

Now we're in to December and the countdown to Christmas has begun, I would like to advise patients not to overlook their health and wellbeing.

While the long break is welcome, people on regular medication need to make sure they have enough to last the long weekend. Anyone concerned they may not have enough medication to cover the holiday weekend should contact their GP surgery or local pharmacy in plenty of time to arrange a repeat prescription.

Now is also a good time to double check that home medicine cabinets are well stocked with over-the counter remedies so that minor illnesses and injuries can be managed at home.

At this time of year accident and emergency departments and the ambulance service tend to see a rise in service demand. Please be aware that A&E is for serious and life threatening emergencies and there are plenty of other services available that can treat you. For instance pharmacies can provide useful advice and deal with minor ailments without you having to see your GP about winter bugs like coughs, colds, sore throats, stomach upsets and flu. There are also other services available such as Minor Injury Units and NHS 111.

For more information about looking after yourself this winter, visit www.nhs.uk

Many pharmacies and GP Practices will be offering a reduced service over the Christmas period, so make sure you’re aware of their opening times and the other health service options available if you become injured or unwell.

For details of local NHS services, including Pharmacy opening times over Christmas, visit www.redditchandbromsgroveccg.nhs.uk

To stay up-to-date, follow @RB_CCG on Twitter.