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The NHS in Coventry and Warwickshire are encouraging people to use services appropriately over the Christmas period and throughout the winter season, and to consider their local pharmacy first for help with minor health concerns.

Pharmacists want to remind people they are there to help and that they are trained medical professionals, so visiting your local pharmacy can save you making GP appointments or attending A&E unnecessarily. 

They also want to remind people that they will continue to dispense normal prescription medication to people who regularly take them and that if you need your repeat prescription, to order via your usual method before 18th December to get them in time for Christmas.

Most pharmacies also have a consultation room where you can talk to the pharmacist in more detail about symptoms and concerns and won’t be overheard.

Community pharmacists can offer help and advice on:

  • Aches and pains - back pain, headache, period pain, teething
  • Allergies - bites and stings, hay fever, skin reaction
  • Colds and flu – cough, congestion, sore throat, fever/ temperature (including fever following immunisation)
  • Ear care – earache, ear infection, ear wax
  • Eye care - bacterial conjunctivitis, styes
  • Gastrointestinal care – diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, haemorrhoids (piles)
  • Head lice
  • Mouth care - cold sores, oral thrush, ulcers
  • Skin care - athletes foot, contact dermatitis/ atopic eczema, nappy rash, warts, and verrucae
  • Vaginal thrush

Some local community pharmacies also offer advice and treatment for women, aged 16-64, with uncomplicated urinary tract infections, free blood pressure checks for over 40s and flu and COVID-19 immunisations.

Your community pharmacy can help you to stay well over the festive period but bear in mind your usual pharmacy might be working shorter hours or closed or certain days.

To check pharmacy opening times over the Christmas bank holidays, click here.

Fiona Lowe, Chief Officer from Community Pharmacy Arden, said: 

“Treatment provided by community pharmacists is timely, convenient, and any suitable over the counter medication recommended can be purchased there and then to help relieve common health issues faster. 

Your local pharmacy is there for you over the Christmas period, although opening times may vary on Bank Holidays, so check before you set off.

If you need help with conditions like aches and pains, cold and flu, or stomach related problems, which are all quite common during the festive period, think pharmacy first.”

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