Winter plans in place for patients
GP surgeries and pharmacist teams across the region are prepared for the challenges of winter.
Plans are in place across the north east to ensure pharmacy and GP services continue to help the public access emergency medication in bad weather.
Pharmacies and surgeries are also playing a vital part in providing flu vaccinations to the public.
A network of 280 community pharmacies provides the NHS Urgent Medicines Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS), enabling pharmacies to receive direct referrals from NHS111 when a patient calls for emergency supplies of medicine.
Elsewhere, patients who ring NHS 111 for minor illness advice can now be referred to pharmacies that are part of the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS).
Prof Chris Gray, NHS England’s medical director for Cumbria and the north east, said: “Last year was challenging in terms of weather and our GP, pharmacy, dental and ophthalmology staff really went the extra mile to provide services.
“Using your local pharmacy for advice on minor illnesses is a quick way to get expert help and NHS. UK and the NHS child health app are excellent sources of advice. If you have an urgent medical need, call 111.”
Dr Stewart Findlay, co-chairman of the North East and North Cumbria Urgent and Emergency Care Network, said: “We know how important it is to get the right help for you or your family when you are feeling unwell.”
He added: “GP surgeries are ready for winter and patients can get details of opening times from their local practice so they can stay well and enjoy spending time with their families.
“It’s also a good idea to stock up on anything you might need such as paracetamol from your local pharmacy and make sure you have ordered any repeat prescriptions.”