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The NHS belongs to the people of Stafford and its surrounding areas but if we are to sustain a high quality, free at the point of need health and social care service, there are significant challenges we must address.

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As the late May bank holiday approaches next Monday (May 29) leading local GPs are reminding people to be prepared, whatever the weather.

Dr Mo Huda, a Rugeley GP and Chair Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group CCG said: “An early visit to the local pharmacy to stock up with basic first aid items to help with minor ailments, such as stomach upsets, allergies, headaches, sunburn, insect bites, aches, sprains and strains should feature in everyone’s preparations.

“Remember, if you take regular medicines on prescription, it’s important that you have enough medication to cover your bank holiday period. Make sure that you have ordered your repeat prescription from your GP in advance and that you have collected it from your pharmacist so you have sufficient to carry you through the four day period.

“If you are taking a break in the UK or abroad, pack a small first aid kit with a few items.  Try to include painkillers, anti-diarrhoea tablets, antihistamines, antiseptic cream, handwash, plasters and dressings.  These are widely available from pharmacists who can also offer you advice on what is best to take away with you, depending on where you are travelling to.”

Dr Huda added: “If you’re travelling in Europe be sure to take a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available https://www.ehic.org.uk.  It costs nothing to get a new card or renew a previous one and is simple to apply for.  It will enable you to access state-provided healthcare across most of Europe at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free.  It will also cover any treatment until you return to the UK.

“Most importantly, we hope you, your family and friends enjoy the bank holiday – come rain or sunshine”. 

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