Pharmacies Helping To Keep You Well This Winter

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Across the South Easter Health and Social Care area, pharmacies are helping you stay well this winter.

Clare Hunter from Sweeney’s {harmacy in Hollywood.

Community pharmacies across the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust area are offering advice and support on a wide range of winter illnesses to help us stay well during the colder months.

The ‘Living Well’ service provides information and advice on key public health issues and was launched earlier this year by the Public Health Agency (PHA), the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and Community Pharmacy NI (CPNI).‘Stay Well This Winter’ is the theme currently running in all pharmacies, and patients and customers can get help and support from their  local pharmacist during the winter period for a range of conditions.

Dr Gerry Waldron, Assistant Director of Public Health (Health Protection) at the PHA, said: “The most common cause of winter hospital admissions is respiratory illness. Older people and those with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or COPD are particularly vulnerable.

“This campaign aims to help the public prepare for the winter months by encouraging them to plan ahead and take positive steps towards better health and to help avoid the need for hospital admission by advising them on how to care for themselves, and to visit their pharmacy for advice if needed.

“Your pharmacist can provide advice on things such as getting the flu vaccine, ordering repeat prescriptions ahead of the Christmas and New Year period and what you can buy now to prepare for winter and minor ailments and injuries.”

Joe Brogan, Assistant Director of Integrated Care and Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management at the HSCB, said: “When it comes to getting health advice and treatment in one place, the community pharmacist probably has it covered. They can offer one-to-one advice from a healthcare professional often without the need to book an appointment.

” If you have a minor ailment or require a consultation about a recent health issue, your pharmacist can help. Pharmacists are highly-trained healthcare professionals who have a vast knowledge of symptoms and appropriate treatments. They can advise what medication to take, the dosage required and any side effects, and provide advice on how best to use it.”

Clare Hunter, Community Pharmacist at Sweeney’s Pharmacy in Holywood, which is participating in the Living Well programme, said: “Community pharmacy is the first and most frequent point of contact with the health service for many people living in this area, so it offers the ideal environment, close to home, to get support over the winter period. At this time of year, many people will find that they need more health care support, so community pharmacists are on-hand to offer advice – just pop in.”

For more information on how you can look after yourself and those close to you this winter, go to:

www.nidirect.gov.uk/stay-well

Other areas covered under the Living Well campaign include care in the sun, obesity prevention, antimicrobial resistance and mental health awareness. More information can be found at :

www.pha.site/LivingWell19

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