Family & Relationships Xmas SOS: Who should you see over Christmas if you're unwell?

10:56  25 december  2017
10:56  25 december  2017 Source:   Netdoctor (UK)

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Xmas SOS : Who should you see over Christmas if you ' re unwell ? Answers to specific problems may not apply to everyone. If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.

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Who should you see if you're unwell at Christmas or have a medical emergency? © Phil Fisk / Getty Who should you see if you're unwell at Christmas or have a medical emergency? Every January, without fail, we are greeted with headlines about an NHS inundated with emergencies over the festive period. With a lot of NHS surgeries closed or running a reduced service over the festive period, you may think A&E is the only option, but it's not. 

It is always worth trying to prevent issues before they arise. Think ahead when it comes to your medication and ensure you have requested your prescription and pick up your regular medication from the pharmacist in advance. Have a look at your medicine cabinet ahead of time and check that you also have the basics like painkillers, cough medicine, a thermometer, plasters and oral rehydration salts.

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Xmas SOS : Who should you see over Christmas if you ' re unwell ? 7 mindful ways to beat festive stress. If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.

Xmas SOS : Who should you see over Christmas if you ' re unwell ? If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.

We all know Christmas is a time for a bit of excess, but the number of A&E visits for alcohol poisoning has doubled in six years, so consider choosing a drink with less alcohol content, staying hydrated or even trying to cut back altogether. Booze is often also a factor in the burns and cutting injuries suffered trying to cook that Christmas dinner. The cooking and preparing of the turkey may also be responsible for the dodgy tummies; there are around 250,000 cases of food poisoning related to poultry every year. To avoid becoming one of these statistics ensure you defrost frozen turkey properly - and prepare and cook it appropriately.

Furthermore, amongst all those Christmas puds and pigs in blankets, do ensure you're helping your immune system fight off all the viruses incubating around us in the winter months by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, exercising regularly and taking supplements where appropriate. Of course, as careful as we try to be, there will always be some health problems we can't prevent and in these cases, it is important you know what to do.

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Xmas SOS : Who should you see over Christmas if you ' re unwell ? Answers to specific problems may not apply to everyone. If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.

Xmas SOS : Who should you see over Christmas if you ' re unwell ? If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.

1. Don't forget your pharmacist is an important health resource

Whilst your GP practice might be closed, a lot of pharmacies will remain open, and can offer private consultations. Pharmacists are very skilled with managing minor ailments with over the counter medication, and some pharmacists are even able to prescribe medication. But, most importantly they will be able to tell you when your illness warrants a doctor's visit and they will be able to signpost you to your nearest service. 

2. 111/OOH

If you become unwell overnight, when the pharmacy is closed, you may want advice from NHS 111. This is a 24 hour, free telephone helpline service that can help you when you aren't sure what health service you may need, and can advise you on the appropriate health management or put you through to the urgent out-of-hours GP service. These out of hours GPs may be working in primary care clinics, A&E departments or urgent care centres, including minor injury units or walk-in centres, and some will be doing home visits for those who are housebound. 

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Xmas SOS : Who should you see over Christmas if you ' re unwell ? Answers to specific problems may not apply to everyone. If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.

Xmas SOS : Who should you see over Christmas if you ' re unwell ? If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.

3. Private

For the last few years there has been the emergence of several private healthcare companies offering telephone, video and email advice and treatment, and in some cases home visits, all for a cost. Interestingly the NHS have now also jumped on the technology bandwagon in the form of 'GP at hand' and have recently started offering free NHS 24/7 video consultations, so you can usually 'see' a GP within 2 hours. These GPs will still be able to prescribe and refer as normal, but they may state you need to be seen for a face to face consultation if you have to be examined. 

4. Accident and Emergency

A&E traditionally has a peak in demand when the festive season is in full swing, so it is so important that it is kept for accidents and emergencies. I have detailed above what to do if you know you need medical help but are not sure which type, but if it is serious or life threatening, then A&E is right place. If you are away from your usual surroundings this Christmas, make yourself aware of the local A&Es and how to get to them, or call 999 if you need an ambulance.

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unwell at Christmas and can't get to see your GP, Dr Sara Kayat explains whether you should With a lot of NHS surgeries closed or running a reduced service over the festive period, you may If you become unwell overnight, when the pharmacy is closed, you may want advice from NHS 111.

Xmas SOS : Who should you see over Christmas if you ' re unwell ? If you notice medical symptoms or feel ill, you should consult your doctor - for further information see our Terms and conditions.

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