Dr Richard Mendelsohn, a GP from Birmingham, has this advice for local people this Christmas :
“With the festive season upon us, it is important to know what your options are if you need health advice over Christmas, to ensure you can get the right help when you need it.
“A number of pharmacies across Birmingham and Solihull are open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. A pharmacist can offer you quick, confidential advice on lots of common illnesses, as well as over-the-counter medication.
“Some GP practices will also be offering limited appointments on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Appointments need to be booked in advance, with your own GP practice, so just give them a call to find out more.
“If you have an illness or injury that can’t wait until your GP surgery is open, you can visit one of seven local walk-in or urgent care centres. There are four centres in Birmingham and Solihull that are open on Christmas Day; Erdington Health and Wellbeing Centre, South Birmingham Walk-in Centre (Katie Road) and Solihull Urgent Care Centre. All seven centres are open on Boxing Day.
“Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, or if you’re not sure which NHS service you need. It is free to call, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Many common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home, so make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet, to avoid having to venture out. Good items to have include your usual pain relief, pain relief for children, diarrhoea relief, rehydration sachets, antihistamines and heartburn and indigestion remedies, as well as first aid essentials, such as plasters, dressings, eye wash and bandages.”