Sunday, December 3, 2023

Where to get health help this winter

HELP is on hand for those feeling under the weather this winter.

People living in mid and south Essex can get the right – support they need by visiting

The site includes information on local pharmacies and their opening times across the Christmas and New Year period, NHS 111 service, advice on weekend and evening GP appointments and advice on using the Essex child health app

Dr Ronan Fenton, medical director for Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership said: “We want you to be able to get the right care, at the right time and in the right place when you are not feeling your best.

“There are lots of ways you can receive quick and effective help and support close to home to help you recover as quickly as possible. Our website provides lots of information to help you get the right care for you.” 

Cold weather can make some health problems worse and even lead to serious complications, especially if you are 65 or older, or if you have a long-term health condition.

Local pharmacists can offer medical advice on a range of conditions including coughs, colds, aches and pains, all without the need for an appointment. Over the Christmas period, your regular pharmacy may be shut or have different opening times on the bank holidays and the website will provide up to date information on where to get help locally.

People can now access evening and weekend appointments with a GP, nurse or healthcare assistant offering patients appointments at more convenient times when they call their local practice. 

Appointments are available from 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Monday to Friday and from 8:00am – 7:30pm on the weekends and public holidays; however, opening hours will vary between the practices over the Christmas and New Year period. The website will have the latest up to date information. 

The NHS Essex Child Health app offers handy advice on some of these most common childhood illnesses, as well as helping you to understand when it’s better to chat to your school nurse, visit a local community pharmacist or GP, or to call NHS 111.

Health conditions covered within the app include:

  • Coughs, colds and flu
  • Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Chicken pox and measles
  • Ear ache and tonsillitis
  • Wheezing and breathing difficulties including bronchiolitis and asthma
  • Headlice and threadworms
  • Bumps, bruises and accidents

Information on mental health and wellbeing, healthy lifestyles and advice on some more serious conditions like meningitis and sepsis are also covered. And there’s a handy section on when you might want to consider keeping your child home from school.

The app is free to download for both Android and Apple. Just search for “NHS Essex Child Health”. You can download the app by clicking on the links below:

If you have an urgent medical problem that’s not life-threatening, or you’re not sure what to do, call NHS 111 first. The NHS 111 team will direct you to the service that best meets your needs. If that’s a visit to the emergency department at your local hospital, they can book you a time slot when you’ll be seen. In case of emergency only, or a life-threatening medical emergency, dial 999.


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