AS AN outbreak of seasonal colds and flu hits Eastbourne the local NHS Trust has asked residents to do all they can to help themselves before visiting their GP.
The winter bug season is now well under way and the Primary Care Trust for the area has urged people to ‘choose the right NHS service’.
The Trust said if Eastbourne residents make full use of their medicine cabinets and local pharmacies it will reduce the risk of spreading illnesses and eases pressure on NHS services.
Diana Grice, director of public health at NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald and NHS Hastings and Rother, said, “Getting the right care in the right place is better for patients and better for the NHS as it helps to make the best use of resources.
“There are lots of different ways people can access a wide range of NHS services and make sure they get the treatment they need, when they need it, at a place that is convenient for them.
“For example, minor ailments such as upset stomachs, headaches and coughs can all be treated at home with a well stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
“It is important to remember that you can also get expert advice from your local pharmacy.
“Encouraging people to use the most appropriate service for their need is good for patients and good for the NHS as it means that we can make the most of what we have.”
She said pharmacies will be able to give advice on what drugs and remedies to take and can also provide expert health advice on a variety of minor ailments.
The Trust reminded people they should go to their local GP surgery for general medical advice, examinations and prescriptions for ‘illnesses you just cannot shake off’.
There is now also an NHS walk-in centres at Eastbourne Train Station which is open from 8am to 8pm, seven days week, and allows anyone to see a GP or nurse. Or you can go online to www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or call NHS Direct on tel 0845 4647.