It’s all about making the right choices

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HEALTH MATTERS: By Jenny Hinchliffe, Head of Clinical Services for the South at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

The colder weather has started and the Christmas festive period is drawing ever closer.

Our staff at Johnson Community Hospital remain busy and there is much planning under way for the expected additional winter pressures.

But I am now turning my attention to you – have you started to plan for the winter for you and your family?

The message across the NHS this winter is that patients are being asked to choose well. This means thinking about what services are available to you rather than going straight to A&E.

This could be your GP, an urgent care centre, walk-in centre and your local pharmacy.

The minor injuries unit here at Johnson Community Hospital will treat people with injuries such as sprains, cuts and grazes, broken bones, bites and stings. It is open 8am until 6pm seven days a week.

Your pharmacist is a trained health professional who can provide free advice on the best treatment for a wide range of illnesses and minor ailments.

Before the bad weather gets worse and the winter ailments start doing the rounds, be prepared by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home.

If you take repeat medication, you should request your repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you have adequate supplies for the festive period. During December, GPs are happy to take early requests for repeat prescriptions.

Wherever you celebrate the festivities this year, I would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy new year.