Winter Colds and Flu Means Busy GP Hotline

The GP Out of Hours service, covering West Hampshire and Portsmouth, says it's currently receiving a high number of calls from people who have flu-like symptoms - and that people with urgent symptoms are being prioritised.

The NHS is asking people with flu-like illness to take home remedies like paracetamol, which are available from their local pharmacies to help the service run smoothly and ensure they can treat people with urgent symptoms.

The vast amount of people with flu-like illnesses do not need to ring the Out of Hours Service. The very old, very young, pregnant women and people with serious chronic conditions are more susceptible to complications from flu and they may require medical attention.

If people have flu-like illness they can speak with their community pharmacists who are qualified experts and can give confidential advice on common minor illnesses like coughs and colds and headaches, as well as on medicines and emergency contraception. Advice about treating flu-like illness is also available from NHS Direct 24 hours a day by calling 0845 46 47 or by visiting www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk .
 
Qualified nurses can provide free, expert health advice and information.

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