Monthly Archives: November 2013

‘Keep calm’ and ask your local pharmacist this winter

‘Keep calm and ask your pharmacist’ is the message from the NHS in the North East this winter.

People with common winter ailments and illnesses who don’t need to see a doctor or nurse are being urged to pop down to their local Pharmacy to seek advice from the expert on their doorstep.

And with many of the North East’s 619 Pharmacies offering a mixture of early morning and late night opening, the chances are you’ll find the advice and medicines you need there and then without having to make an appointment with your GP – freeing up appointments to those with more serious health issues.

The ‘Ask your Pharmacist’ key winter message is part of a regional campaign urging people to ‘Keep Calm’ and use the NHS responsibly as it approaches its busiest time of the year.

That message is backed by the Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPC), the bodies that represent community pharmacies in the region.

Sandie Hall, spokesperson for Tees LPC said: “Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines and are ideally placed to offer advice on many of the common ailments that people suffer from during the winter.

“By working together, we can all play our part in helping to ensure that we use NHS resources wisely this winter and free up GP appointments and A&E consultations for those people who need them and have the most complex health needs.”

There are 619 Pharmacies across the North East. Details are available on or calling the NHS 111 service, which is free from landlines and mobile phones. Many Pharmacies have early morning or late night openings.

NHS organisations across the region in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Darlington and Teesside are joining together to back the ‘Keep Calm’ campaign which gives advice on how to treat a range of common winter conditions by keeping a well-stocked medicines cabinet at home or speaking to your local pharmacist.

Dr Ali Tahmassebi, local GP and spokesperson for South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Colds, sore throats, headaches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.

By doing this not only are you helping to reduce the spread of winter viruses to other vulnerable patients in NHS waiting rooms – you are also keeping appointments available for people who have serious health conditions that must see a doctor or nurse.”

The Keep Calm campaign launched on 18 November, to tie in with National Self Care Week and European Antibiotics Awareness Day, and includes a dedicated website – with information on common winter illnesses, what the symptoms are, how to treat them, how long they will last. It includes advice on what to keep in your winter medicines cabinet so you can be ready to treat illnesses as they start.

The campaign will be seen on regional TV adverts, buses, social media and printed materials in GP practices, pharmacies and other venues across the region.

The campaign message of ‘Keep Calm and look after yourself’ runs across three threads including:

· Keep Calm and ask a pharmacist

· Keep Calm and call 111

· Keep Calm and antibiotics aren’t always the answer

Don’t forget to follow the campaign on Twitter:


And use the hashtag #keepcalmne when you Tweet.

The NHS in South Tees: A Call to Action

The NHS is calling on patients, the public and staff to join in a discussion about the future of the NHS, so it can plan how best to deliver services, now and in the years ahead.

NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group is holding a public engagement event on:

Wednesday 11 December 5.30pm – 7.30pm.

Middlesbrough Teaching and Learning Centre, Cargo Fleet Lane, Middlesbrough, TS3 8PE

There are some big health challenges in our area, including:

• A growing elderly population with long-term health needs

• Levels of heart disease, stroke and cancer • Financial pressures

• Illnesses caused by smoking • Illnesses caused by alcohol

• Managing hospital admissions and demand within primary care services

Please come along and get involved.

Places are limited. To book your place now, call 01642 745046 or email Please state any special requirements.