Plan ahead and stock up on all essential medicines ahead of the Christmas period

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Christmas can one of the busiest times of the year for everyone which is why NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Vale Royal CCG are telling us that having essential medicines at home, will keep us enjoying the festive season.

During the festive period, your first point of call for advice and support should be your local pharmacist.  They can give you expert help on common illnesses including coughs, colds, aches and pains and they can answer questions about prescribed and over the counter medicines.

Your local pharmacist is trained and qualified to give professional, free advice and will have a wide range of remedies available.  You don’t need an appointment and they all have private consultation rooms to talk in confidence.

You can stock your medicine cabinet with Christmas essentials for around £10 to tackle minor conditions at home:

  • Painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol – 25p each (Junior paracetamol £1.90)
  • Aspirin – 30p
  • Antihistamines for allergies – £2.50 for a month’s supply
  • Diarrhoea relief – £1
  • Constipation relief – £1.60
  • Throat lozenges – 99p
  • Antacid – 99p

Always ensure remedies which are already in your medicines cabinet are still okay to use. If any medicines are past their use-by-date, don’t take them and return them to your local pharmacy for disposal.

Dr Andrew Wilson, GP and Chair of NHS South Cheshire CCG, said: “It is important to plan ahead, stock up on your medicine cabinets with plenty of time to spare.

“By doing this you’ll be able to treat minor injuries and illnesses at home, avoiding unnecessary trips to the doctor, waiting for an appointment you probably don’t need.”

During the busy winter period across the NHS, if you have a minor ailment seeing your local community pharmacist will mean you’ll be tackling your symptoms sooner, whilst also relieving pressure in the rest of the healthcare system.

Dr Jonathan Griffiths, GP and Chair of NHS Vale Royal CCG, said: “As Christmas approaches it is important to know all pharmacy opening times, just in case you do feel ill over winter.

“Community pharmacists offer confidential advice and treatment for all minor health problems including coughs, colds, minor injuries and general aches and pains.  You don’t need an appointment and they all have private consultation rooms.”

To find out when your local pharmacy is open on Christmas, Boxing and New Years Day, go to your local CCG website,

If you need medical advice, but you’re not sure where to turn, The NHS 111 telephone service is a free call number, provided by North West Ambulance Service and gives confidential health guidance and advice, 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  They will also direct you to other local services where appropriate.

For more information on all essential medicine must-haves visit the NHS Choices website –