DOCTORS have come together to support a national awareness campaign urging people to seek early advice from a pharmacist if they are feeling unwell.
A six-week Feeling Under the Weather campaign has been launched to encourage people to nip health problems in the bud.
Dr Jim Hogan is the lead on urgent care for the three commissioning organisations which plan and pay for most health services across Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire.
He said: ‘Every year the NHS sees a very high number of emergency admissions to hospital over the colder months. Those with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or bronchitis are particularly vulnerable and even the common cold can become more serious for frailer and older people.
‘I am a major advocate of the NHS 111 service, but we also have many excellent community pharmacists across the area – and for many people they are an untapped resource, offering a wealth of helpful information and advice.’
As reported, the A&E system at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham was put on ‘black alert’ for six days due to high numbers of people turning up last week.
Dr Hogan added: ‘I know we keep saying it, but we don’t want people just turning up at QA if they have a health problem. That’s not what it’s there for – it’s for people involved in an accident or emergency.’