Plan ahead for better health this festive season

People living in Cumbria are being urged to prepare for the festive season and make sure they have any necessary medicines to hand.

GPs are reminding patients to ensure they have arranged repeat prescriptions to last until the first week of January. They also advise patients to think about this now and not to leave this right till the last minute, as practices will need time to prepare prescriptions.

People are also being reminded to ensure that their medicine cabinet is well stocked with over the counter remedies to ease the symptoms of common winter illnesses.

Dr Niall McGreevy, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s Lead GP for Allerdale, said: 

“The build up to Christmas can be very busy, but we don’t want people to forget about their health. We want our patients to consider whether they need a repeat prescription, and if they do, make arrangements to collect it as soon as possible.

“It is easy to forget to look after yourself at this busy time of year, but we would urge people to stop and think about what they will need to keep themselves as well as they can.

“The usual winter illnesses can make you feel pretty poorly but often there is very little a doctor can do, and it is much better to have to hand a stock of pain killers and other medicines to ease the symptoms. You can look after yourself by making sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids.”


Here are some simple tips to help you stay well this winter.

  • It’s not too late to get a flu jab – flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are at risk, pregnant women, carers and some young children to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
  • Keep warm –If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18C. If you're under 65 and healthy and active, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C, if you're comfortable.
  • Eat well – food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.

Pharmacists are experts in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. Your pharmacist will be able to advise if you need further medical attention. Many pharmacies across Cumbria will be open throughout the Christmas period and you don’t need an appointment. 

People in Cumbria are urged to only use 999 and A&E services if it is a serious accident or life threatening illness. NHS 111 is free to call and able to offer medical advice and direct you if appropriate to your nearest Minor Injuries Unit (MIU), Nurse Led Treatment Centre (NLT), Primary Care Assessment Service (PCAS) or to CHOC, Cumbria’s GP out of hours service.

Hospital medics are also urging people not to visit family or friends in hospital if they are ill. Please stay at home, don’t pass it on.

For more winter health advice and information, including treating everyday winter illnesses and where to go to for help visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell