There are two really important events this week. 14-20th November is NHS self care week and on the 18th November it is European Antibiotics Awareness day, a Europe-wide annual event that raises awareness about how to use antibiotics in a responsible way that will help keep them effective for the future.
There is a significant overlap between the two and they both fit in very nicely with the winter health campaigns that you will be continuing to see more of on the telly and in the public press as the winter progresses.
We hear and read about how the NHS is under pressure with increasing demands, and this is the reality. For us all to get the best out of our National Health Service we need to use it well. Part of that is us taking responsibility for our own health , trying to make those healthy lifestyle choices to prevent us becoming ill, and being more aware about how we can look after ourselves with simple illnesses like coughs, colds, sore throats, ear aches.
Chatting to a community pharmacist about your symptoms and getting over the counter medication to ease your symptoms can be much quicker and easier than making an appointment at your GP surgery. Most coughs, colds , sore throats, sinusitis and earaches will get better without antibiotics. As and when I may have grandchildren, I would like them to still have antibiotics available that work for those occasions when they are needed and can be life saving. The more we use antibiotics when they are not needed, or start courses and don’t finish them the more we increase antibiotic resistance, and create bugs that the antibiotics no longer work against.
So, pop along to your community pharmacist, stock up your medicines cabinets with simple medicines such as paracetamol, or ibuprofen and be prepared to look after yourselves.
Find out more advice about self care