NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group is reminding local residents of the importance of self‐treating minor winter ailments without antibiotics. Research suggests nearly half the UK adult population still think antibiotics can treat colds and flu, but actually they are ineffective against viral infections.
A new website, www.treatyourselfbetter.co.uk
provides information and advice on how you can self-treat cold and flu symptoms without the need to visit the GP unless you display warning signs – visit the website now to make sure you are clued up this winter.
You should only take antibiotics when they are really needed because:
- Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic. They become ‘antibiotic resistant’ so that the antibiotic no longer works. The more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it.
- Antibiotic-resistant bacteria don’t just infect you, they can spread to those in close contact with you.
- Some antibiotics can cause allergic reactions such as rashes, being sick if you also drink alcohol, reactions to sunlight and other symptoms.
Ash Soni, a pharmacist in south east London for over 27 years and who represents south east London pharmacists locally and nationally, says:
“All pharmacists undertake over five years of education and training so we have expert knowledge on a range of health issues. The list of things we can help people with is very long and I would tell people to come and see us first, even before they go to their GP.
“We can give advice on the treatment of common complaints such as coughs and colds, flu-like symptoms, backache, stomach upsets and cuts and grazes. Some pharmacists also offer testing for chlamydia, supply emergency hormonal contraception, provide flu vaccinations and NHS Health Checks. We also have the skills and expertise to help you with a range of health issues including advice on stopping smoking, healthy eating, weight loss and exercise.
“You don’t need to make an appointment to see a community pharmacist and you don’t need to be registered either. Just drop in to your nearest pharmacy when it’s best for you."
CCGs in south east London are working together to encourage patients and the public to self-manage minor illnesses and ailments. This will help to reduce the pressure on local health services and save the NHS money. It is estimated that unnecessary GP appointments cost the NHS £35.2 million a year nationally.