●● DR Paul Bowen, GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton, and executive chairman of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) some of the most common phrases we hear:“I’ve been coughing for a week and it’s gone to my chest”.
Most colds last two to three weeks, and tend to go ‘to the chest’. Yellow and green phlegm is normal and regular painkillers and rest are best. Speak to your pharmacist if you need any help. Breathlessness and prolonged illness do need to be seen however.
“I can’t keep anything down”. Diarrhoea and vomiting bugs in healthy adults can last several days and need regular paracetamol and hydration with energy drinks.
“I need a visit”. Most doctors visit late morning/ lunchtime, so please try to call as early as possible.
Accepting you cannot predict if you fall ill later in the day, it really helps us if you call as early as possible.
“There’s several things, I’ve saved them up”.
Most patients have more than one issue they want to cover in 10 minutes, it’s best to state what they are at the beginning of the appointment and prioritise with your doctor. Saving problems up doesn’t help us, or you. We may need to book a future appointment to deal with everything.
“I’m not sure you are the right person to see?” With so many different healthcare workers, it can be puzzling.
Our nurses will do most blood pressure, diabetes and asthma management. If you need to see a GP, save yourself the time of repeating your story and see the doctor you last saw about it.
I hope this helps, and is not patronising. It makes those dark winter days go more smoothly if we put you in control.