Deck the halls and stock your cupboards, advises Wandsworth's health and care partnership
As last minute gifts and tasty treats are topping shopping lists this week, the NHS and Wandsworth Council are reminding people to stock up on their medication in time for the festive break.
Dr Nicola Jones, a local GP and Chair NHS Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "People with long term health conditions can be more vulnerable to winter illnesses, particularly if their prescription medication runs out. We're encouraging everyone to check they have enough medication to see them through the festive period."
Patients in Wandsworth can access GP appointments 8am-8pm 7 days a week (including Christmas and New Year), in locations across the borough. Contact your own GP Practice to book an appointment.
There are appointments available on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year, but patients do need to call their own practice in order to access them. If the practice is closed, patients will be instructed to contact NHS 111, who will be able to direct them to the most appropriate service for their needs.
People in Wandsworth needing urgent medical advice can also contact NHS 111 throughout the Christmas and New Year period or visit their local pharmacist for help treating minor ailments. For treating wounds, burns or minor injuries, local people can also visit one of three urgent care centres located across the borough. Visit the CCG website for more information about these services.
Dr Nicola Jones continues: "Winter can be bad for our health, but there a number of things everyone can do to keep themselves and their family well this winter.
"By checking they have adequate supplies of prescription medication and adding some cough and cold remedies to their Christmas shopping list, everyone can make sure that they can tackle a winter illness as soon as it appears."
As part of NHS England's 'Stay Well This Winter' campaign, residents of Wandsworth are also being advised to follow some simple steps to keep healthy during the colder weather, including heating your home to at least 18°C, wearing lots of thin layers to keep warm when you're out and about, covering your mouth with a scarf if you have asthma and checking in on older or vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours to see if they need extra support.
Wandsworth Council's health spokesman Paul Ellis said: "Christmas can be a challenging time – especially for older and vulnerable people who may find themselves isolated. People taking regular medication should make sure they have plenty in stock, and I would ask residents to check that their neighbours and relatives are safe and well over the festive period.
"If you or someone you know needs extra support, call our WRAP service on 0800 118 2327."