Monthly Archives: December 2014

Take a break from booze – go ‘dry’ in January

Dry January

Sign up with thousands of others taking a break from booze by joining Alcohol Concern’s Dry January campaign.

This is a great opportunity to take a month away from alcohol and enjoy the benefits after the Christmas festivities, including:

  • Helping your New Year waistline by reducing the number of calories you consume
  • Helping your finances by not spending money on alcohol
  • Improving your general health – we all need a break and your body is no different.

Dry January has proven that taking a month off booze can have a positive impact on long term drinking levels.

  • Not only do participants who take a month off alcohol drink less frequently afterwards, they drink less per drinking day and also get drunk less often.
  • Taking part in Dry January can help people have stronger willpower and the confidence to say ‘no’ to an alcoholic drink

There is plenty of fun to be had without alcohol and you probably won’t be missing it as much as you think by the end of the month!

For support and encouragement visit

Talk Before you Walk

Stay healthy and safe this winter

Along with the chilly winter days comes the annual increase in people feeling poorly or under the weather.

Thankfully, with the help of a well-stocked home first aid kit, most people recover well from winter’s crop of minor illnesses without needing to see a doctor. However, for those who are worried or not getting better there are some good ways to get expert medical help and advice – without going to A&E.

The three local clinical commissioning groups – Slough, Windsor, Ascot & Maidenhead and Bracknell & Ascot – have issued some helpful, practical advice about the many options available.

Call NHS 111

When you need help quickly but it’s not an emergency. NHS 111 is available free 24 hours a day every day of the year. Friendly, highly-trained advisors, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics, can talk through your concerns and offer healthcare advice or direct you to the service that can help you best.

Health information is also available around the clock at:

Speak to your local pharmacist

A good starting place when you need health advice, local pharmacists can not only provide over-the-counter medication for everyday ailments but can also offer advice about minor illnesses, such as ear ache, stomach upsets and diarrhoea. Most have consulting rooms to protect patient privacy.

Check your local pharmacy’s opening times over the festive period at:

Christmas and New Year pharmacy opening times

Talk to your GP surgery

GPs, practice nurses and other members of the team can help with a range of services by appointment – but remember if you phone at a particularly busy time they may need to take a message and arrange to call you back later.

Protect yourself against flu

If you are pregnant, over 65 or have a long-term health condition (such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease) you are entitled to a free flu jab from your GP. If you haven’t had your jab this winter, make an appointment as soon as possible.

Talk before you Walk – where to go for help

Emergency departments and 999 are for serious or critical conditions or life-threatening emergencies only.

There are a number of local and easily accessible alternatives available for minor injuries and illnesses:

  • Bracknell Urgent Care Centre, Royal Berkshire Bracknell Healthspace, London Road, Bracknell RG12 9BG – 8am to 8pm every day of the year; tel: 01344 55 11 00

The centre is led by nurses and supported by a GP at all times – but it is not an alternative to your GP surgery which should be contacted first if at all possible.

  • Slough Walk-in Health Centre, Upton Hospital. Albert Street SL1 2BJ – 8am to 8pm every day of the year; tel: 01753 635505

For minor illnesses and injuries that don’t require an x-ray. No appointment needed.

  • St Marks Urgent Care Centre, St Marks Hospital, 112 St. Marks Road, Maidenhead SL6 6DU – Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5.00pm; Saturday and Sunday (Bank Holidays, including Christmas Day) 9am to 1.00pm; tel: 03000 242000

For minor injuries and ailments. Additional services include weekday x-rays for minor fractures (for all patients over two years) and advice and support for long-term conditions such as high blood pressure and heart and lung diseases.

For further information visit NHS Choices

Look after your health this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, local people are urged to plan ahead for any repeat prescriptions they may need over the festive holidays.

The ‘don’t run out’ reminder comes from the three clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) covering Slough, Windsor, Ascot & Maidenhead and Bracknell & Ascot, especially since GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours between Christmas and the New Year.

Tim Langran, CCG Lead Pharmacist, said that while it was important not to waste medicines by overstocking, it was absolutely essential for people with long-term conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease, to have all their required medications to hand.

He said: “At this time of year when most people are focused on getting organised for the holiday period it is all too easy to forget about ordering repeat medicines – but this is so important for people who have long-term conditions that require regular medication.

“Our advice is – don’t delay, order what you need today and make sure you are all set to enjoy Christmas without fretting about missing your medication.”

The CCGs are also reminding everyone to visit their local pharmacy for advice about dealing with winter ailments such as colds, coughs and sore throats. Reassurance, advice and treatments available from the pharmacist can make all the difference.

Key steps to help you look after your health over the festive period:
• Restock with Paracetamol for fever and pain and something soothing for sore throats or coughs like honey and lemon.
• Visit your local pharmacy for advice and information.
• Request your repeat prescriptions in good time – your GP surgery may have a ‘last orders before Christmas’ date so please check and order and collect your prescription in good time.
• Make sure you know your GP surgery opening times over the holidays – check your surgery or its website to get the details.
• Give yourself a chance to rest over the festive period.
• If you are unwell over Christmas or need advice about the local emergency dentist call the NHS helpline on 111.

Pharmacy opening times will vary but there will be duty pharmacies operating limited hours over the holidays in your area. Look out for the holiday opening information poster in your local pharmacy. Click here for more information on pharmacy opening times.

Christmas and New Year Pharmacy Opening Hours

With the holiday season approaching pharmacy opening times will change.

Below are the details of pharmacy opening times on 25th/26th December and 1st January.

Pharmacy 25th December (Thursday) 26th December (Friday) 1st January(Thursday)
Boots The Chemists

13 Princess Square

Station Road

RG12 1LS

Tel: 01344 424906

Closed 10:00 – 17:00 Closed
Sainsbury’s Pharmacy

Ringmead, Bagshot Road

RG12 7SS

Tel: 01344 456868

Closed 10:00 – 17:00 Closed
David Pharmacy

24 New Road


Tel: 01344 882399

12:00 – 14:00 Closed Closed

*Pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are voluntary and are, therefore, subject to change. There may be changes to normal pharmacy opening hours between Wednesday 24th December and Sunday 4th January inclusive. Patients are advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey. Local pharmacy details can be found on the NHS Choices website, click here.