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Help your local NHS services this winter by keeping medicine cabinet stocked up

Members of the public are being encouraged to check their medicine cabinets and make sure they are fully-stocked to avoid becoming seriously unwell this winter.

NHS services, from Royal Berkshire Hospital to local GPs, are under significant pressure this winter. As a result, the public is being encouraged to take active steps to avoid becoming unwell and needing to access NHS services by making sure their medicine and first aid supplies are fully-stocked over the coming months.  

According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, it is recommended that everyone should have the following items stocked up at home over the winter period:

  • Pain relief – such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin; to help relive minor aches and pains, as well as symptoms of minor illnesses.
  • Oral rehydration salts – a high temperature, diarrhoea and being sick can cause you to become dehydrated by losing water and essential minerals. Oral rehydration salts help restore your body’s natural balance of fluid and minerals.
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets – diarrhoea can be caused by food poisoning or a stomach virus and can happen without warning. Anti-diarrhoea remedies may not deal with underlying cause but can help control the symptoms.
  • Indigestion treatment – antacids can reduce stomach acidity and bring relief to stomach ache or heartburn.
  • A full First Aid Kit including bandages, plasters, a thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape, and tweezers.

All items can be purchased at your local pharmacist, who can provide further advice or information can contact their local pharmacists. Pharmacists can also help with many minor health concerns and refer you on to other services if necessary.

David Dean, Chief Executive Officer of Thames Valley Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: “With NHS services under significant pressures this winter, it is more important than ever to take steps to help reduce your chance of becoming seriously unwell and needing to receive care. By having a fully-stocked medicine cabinet, you can keep on top of many minor illnesses and injuries and have to avoid waiting for help at A&E or with your local GP

“Pharmacists and their teams in your local Pharmacy are here to advise patients over the coming months with all their winter ailments and to provide them with a comprehensive range of over the counter medicines to help alleviate any of the traditional coughs, sore throats, and blocked noses.”

NHS services have launched a public information campaign to help reduce pressures and manage expectations this winter. To find out more information, please visit

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