Stay happy and healthy during the festive holidays

It isn’t fun being unwell when everybody is celebrating the festive season and the NHS is urging people to prepare for a healthy festive season.

Regular medication

GP surgeries will be closed for the two day Christmas holiday and on Tuesday 1st January. Anyone who takes regular prescribed medicines should make sure they have a sufficient supply and allow enough time to order and collect repeat prescriptions before their surgery closes for the holiday.

Self care

The majority of minor illness and injury, such as colds and flu, coughs, sore throats, indigestion, headaches, cuts and bruises, can be treated at home if you have a supply of over the counter remedies, which are easily available in your local pharmacy. If you have young children, don’t forget suitable medicines for them.

Urgent Pharmacy

There will be at least one local pharmacy open in each area for a few hours a day during the holidays, to enable people to obtain prescriptions or urgent over-the-counter medicines. To find out which pharmacies are open in your area call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

NHS Direct

24-hour confidential telephone service 0845 4647. Highly trained nurses and call takers respond to requests for information and medical advice. They will refer anyone who is unsure whether they need medical help to the most appropriate services.

GP Out-of-Hours Service

For urgent health care and treatment service for when GP surgeries are closed, overnight from 18:30 to 08:00 and 24 hours at weekends and bank holidays. Telephone your own doctor’s surgery and you will be automatically diverted or advised how to contact the service.

NHS Walk-in Centre (Norwich)

No appointment is necessary at this nurse-led service which provides advice and treatment for a wide range of minor illness and injury, including:

• Coughs, colds, sore that, earache, and flu-like symptoms
• Minor cuts, bruises and wounds
• Muscle and joint injuries – strains and sprains
• Skin complaints – rashes, sunburn, bites and stings
• Minor burns and scalds
• Stomach ache, indigestion, constipation, vomiting and diarrhoea
• Minor eye infections, foreign bodies in the eye
• Women's health problems, thrush and menstrual advice
• Emergency contraception
• Support for stopping smoking

Norwich Walk-in Centre, Pound Lane, Dussindale, Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich. (Next to Sainsbury’s). Open weekdays and Saturdays from 07:00 to 22:00 and Sundays and Bank holidays from 09:00 to 22:00. Christmas Day only closed.

Minor Injury Unit

Minor Injury Unit (MIU) are an alternative to A&E and can treat a wide variety of problems, including, cuts/grazes and lacerations; sprains and strains; minor burns and scalds/ minor eye infections, foreign bodies and scratches; bites and strings, minor head injuries (where there is no loss of consciousness. No appointment is necessary.

There is a Minor Injuries Unit at Cromer Hospital, Mill Road, Cromer, open 365 days a year, from 08:00 to 20:00. Cromer's Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is run by emergency nurse practitioners, who are experienced nurses who can independently see and treat all forms of minor injury.

What the MIU can deal with

  • Minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness)
  • Simple wounds
  • Simple eye conditions, foreign body, corneal abrasions
  • Minor burns
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Bites and stings, with no associated complications, or acute reaction
  • Simple fractures
  • Broken or dislocated fingers

What the MIU cannot deal with

  • Children under the age of two
  • Pregnancy problems
  • Complicated or serious injury
  • Fractures that may need manipulation (other than fingers)
  • Head injury where there has been loss of consciousness
  • Alcohol-related head injuries or illnesses
  • Medical conditions in their acute form, asthma, diabetes, allergic reaction
  • Major illness i.e. Stroke, Heart attack

999 Emergency Ambulance Service and Hospital Accident & Emergency

Depending on the situation, dial 999 or go to A&E straight away. It is an emergency if the person is:

  • Having a suspected heart attack
  • Complaining of chest pains
  • Unconscious
  • Losing a lot of blood
  • Suspected of having a broken bone
  • Suffering from a deep wound or head injury
  • Struggling to breathe

If you suspect that someone has had a stroke, call 999 and ask for an emergency ambulance. Make the patient comfortable and do the F.A.S. test – test all three – so that you can tell the ambulance crew when they arrive:

F = facial weakness: can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye dropped?
A = arm weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
S = speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

Visitors to the area

People visiting friends and relatives over the holiday period should contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 if they fall ill and need advice. NHS Direct will be able to transfer them to the most appropriate service.

Tuesday 18th of December 2007 10:00:37 AM