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Use pharmacies and NHS 111 services for minor illnesses during the Christmas holidays

Vale of York residents are being encouraged to use pharmacies for minor illnesses or ailments over the Christmas holiday period.

While the region’s GP surgeries will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, some pharmacies will be open and are the place to go for treatments and advice on common illnesses and ailments, including colds, flu, and minor rashes.

Below is a timetable detailing when certain York and Selby pharmacies will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can provide many of the same services that GPs do, but you don’t need to book an appointment to see them.

They can also answer questions you might have about any medication you’re taking and, if they can't help, they'll let you know whether or not you need to see a doctor or where else you could get the best treatment.

These videos, featuring GPs from the Vale of York, explain how to treat a number of common  winter illnesses and ailments using over-the-counter remedies from your local pharmacy: www.bit.ly/winterGPvideos

NHS non-emergency number 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When you call 111 free of charge you will speak to a highly trained adviser who will direct you to the most appropriate medical care.

Vale of York residents can now access the NHS 111 service online as well as over the phone at www.111.nhs.uk if they need urgent healthcare or health advice.

Dr Kevin Smith, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, said: “We are all preparing for Christmas and the New Year but time at home can often bring coughs, colds and rashes. GP surgeries will be busy over these next few weeks and will be closed on bank holidays. Pharmacists across the Vale of York have trained for at least five years and can offer expert advice on these winter illnesses.

“Many Vale of York pharmacies will also be open on Sundays and Bank Holidays. They are the ideal place to go for treatment and advice for colds, flu, upset stomachs and many more conditions.

“While pharmacists can help with less serious health concerns, the NHS 111 phone or online service is there if you require urgent medical help or advice for a non-life-threatening condition. Call 999 if you have a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, chest pains or if you’ve been in a serious accident.”

For more information about how to stay well this winter, visit www.valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk/winter

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