Think pharmacy this winter

As winter kicks in Stockport residents who are troubled by minor common winter ailments such as a cold are being urged to contact their community pharmacist in the first instance.

Think pharmacy this winter

It’s also not too late to get vaccinated against the flu. Flu vaccinations which are free for eligible adults are also available at your local pharmacist.

The NHS and community pharmacies are encouraging people to make pharmacy their first port of call for expert advice and care for everything from tummy upsets and headaches to coughs, colds and sore throats and minor burns/scalds. Many pharmacies can also provide emergency contraception (‘morning-after pill’), stop-smoking support and other services.

If you are otherwise healthy the symptoms of coughs and colds and other minor ailments can be treated at home with a well stocked up medicine cabinet without the need for a trip to the doctors.

Stockport pharmacist Peter Marks, who sits on Greater Manchester Local Pharmaceutical Committee said:

“Visiting your local pharmacy is your fastest route to care. You don’t need an appointment – you can just pop in any time for expert advice from a highly-trained healthcare professional who can help prevent conditions like coughs or colds from getting worse.

“Pharmacies are the best place to go at the first sign of minor ailments, especially over Christmas and New Year, whether you’ve got a winter bug, a tummy upset, a migraine, eczema or other skin problem, or a small burn while cooking Christmas dinner. You can also get the morning-after pill from many pharmacies without needing to see a GP. We would also encourage people who take regular medications to make sure their prescription will last them over Christmas and New Year.”

Councillor Tom McGee, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, said:

“There is still no cure for the common cold and many other winter viruses, so in the majority of cases it is not necessary to visit your GP with such conditions. Many people don’t realize that pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can deal with many minor ailments and also advise you on managing other conditions such as asthma. We are therefore urging residents to consult their pharmacist if they are troubled by such illnesses. I also urge residents to make a note of pharmacy opening times for the upcoming Bank Holidays when GP practices are closed. ”

To find your nearest pharmacy, including their opening hours, contact details and services available, visit the find a pharmacy service.

A list of all pharmacies open across Greater Manchester on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day is available on the Greater Manchester LPC website

Visit our stay well this winter pages for pharmacy opening times for Christmas and New Year in Stockport.

All Greater Manchester pharmacies will be open for their regular hours over the rest of the Christmas season. You don’t need an appointment to visit a pharmacy and many are open late evenings and weekends. Around 100 Greater Manchester pharmacies are open 100 hours a week.

Top tips to stay well this winter:

  • make the pharmacy your first port of call for advice/care for minor conditions and general health advice. Go to the pharmacy at the first sign of any minor illness e.g. coughs, colds, sore throats, flu, and aches and pains
  • cold weather can increase your risk of getting ill, including coughs and colds, flu, heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression
  • keeping warm can help you stay well and reduce your risk of being ill. Keep your home heated to at least 18°C, wrap up well with lots of layers and have plenty of hot drinks.
  • keep some paracetamol handy in your medicine cabinet – it can help relieve pain and reduce temperatures if you get a winter bug
  • if you use any regular medication, make sure you have enough to last you over Christmas and New Year
  • look out for family, friends and neighbours who may be vulnerable over winter – check they’re okay and not feeling isolated, unwell or too cold. Offer to help them with shopping etc if it’s too cold/icy for them to go out

For more NHS advice on treating common ailments and how to stay well this winter visit the NHS stay well this winter website.

For more local information visit our stay well this winter pages.