Ask the experts when you get a cough or cold

Lady sneezing
Lady sneezing
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DOCTOR CALLING: By Dr Kevin Hill

Health leaders at South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging people aged over 60 to seek early advice from their pharmacist for minor winter illnesses.

Every year the NHS sees a huge increase in numbers of emergency admissions to hospital over the colder months. By encouraging people to get help earlier, the NHS hopes to reduce the number of patients who become seriously ill this winter.

People over 60, especially those with lung disease, are particularly at risk of minor illnesses developing into something more serious if they don’t seek early advice and treatment. So, it’s important that older people with coughs, colds and sore throats pop down to their local pharmacy for expert health advice.

Health leaders are also encouraging those caring for or visiting an older friend or relative to get early advice from their local pharmacist if they are feeling under the weather.

Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, said: “If you’re over 60 a minor illness can get worse quickly. So, it’s best to get advice on your illness from your local pharmacist because, being older, if a winter ailment becomes serious you’re more likely to need treatment in hospital.

“People often don’t seek advice for their wheezes, coughs and sneezes because they don’t think it’s serious enough, or they don’t want to waste their pharmacist’s time.

But no problem is too small for your local pharmacist, who is a highly trained and trusted source of health advice.

“Pharmacies have long opening hours, you don’t need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are an excellent first port of call that will help prevent serious health conditions this winter.”

People can find their nearest pharmacy by visiting www.nhs.uk or obtain more information about the national campaign by visiting www.nhs.uk/asap