How can I treat my hay fever?
You have been given this leaflet because you have asked for hay fever treatment that you can get “over the counter” (OTC) from pharmacies, supermarkets and some other shops.
After a local and national public consultation on OTC medicines, we do not prescribe simple hay fever treatment anymore. Hay fever is a common allergy and most people with mild to moderate symptoms are able to treat themselves with OTC medicines. These medicines are cheaper OTC than a prescription charge.
For children in full-time education and for people that receive benefits that allow them to have free prescriptions, your pharmacy can supply some medicines free of charge through the local minor ailments service (MK Pharmacy First). Speak to a member of the pharmacy team for more information.
Your pharmacist is a great source of advice, whether you use the MK Pharmacy First scheme or buy your medicines over the counter.
Below are some tips to help reduce your symptoms.
- Keep house and car windows closed, especially when the pollen count is high (early morning between 7am to 9am and evenings between 5pm and 7pm).
- Avoid large grassy areas, woodland, cutting the grass, pollutants and car fumes.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses.
- When you get in from outside wash your hands, face, hair, rinse your eyes and change your clothes.
- If possible stay indoors when the pollen count is high.
- Use petroleum jelly inside your nose to trap any pollen.
- Keep your house clean and wear a mask and glasses when doing house work.
- Don’t dry washing outside to avoid pollen sticking to your clothes.
- You could buy a pollen filter for the air vents in the car.
When should I see a GP?
- If you are experiencing wheezing, breathlessness or tightness in the chest.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If your symptoms are not relieved by over the counter treatments in combination with measures to reduce your exposure to pollen.
More information is available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Hay-fever/
If you are aged between 40 and 65, you may be entitled to a free health check. Please ask reception.
Pharmacy First Minor Ailment Scheme
The MK Pharmacy First Minor Ailment Scheme is designed to provide an alternative for some patients seeking a GP appointment for certain minor illnesses and conditions. It is available to patients that are registered with a GP practice in Milton Keynes and fit one of the following criteria.
What is MK Pharmacy First?
- MK Pharmacy First provides confidential health advice without needing to book an appointment.
- For children in full time education and those in receipt of benefits, the pharmacy can supply recommended medicines free of charge.
- Use MK Pharmacy First instead of booking a GP appointment and get immediate advice and treatment.
How do patients use MK Pharmacy First?
- Ask for MK Pharmacy First at a local Milton Keynes pharmacy and talk to the pharmacy team in confidence.
- If advice is needed about a child, the child should be taken to the pharmacy for assessment, similar to a GP or nurse appointment.
- The pharmacy will recommend appropriate treatment and medication. They may also direct the patient to other services.
- Provided the patient/parent has asked to be seen under the scheme, the pharmacy can provide any recommended medication free of charge to children in full time education and those in receipt of benefits.
Are there any restrictions to using MK Pharmacy First?
- The scheme is only available to children in full time education and those in receipt of benefits; they must also be registered with an MK GP.
- There is a selected list of conditions & products – the products must be supplied for use within their over the counter license.
- Patients that do not fit the scheme criteria can still seek advice and treatment from a pharmacy but any medicines will need to be paid for.
Many MK pharmacies provide this service meaning that you can now get treatment for minor ailments without having to wait for a doctor’s appointment, in turn freeing up their valuable time.
If you wish to take over-the-counter medicine, please inform the pharmacist if you are taking other medications, to ensure it is safe to take with your regular medicine.
The Community Pharmacist can offer advice and/or treatment for conditions such as:
Cough, sore throat, headache, fever, nasal congestion, hay fever, allergies, diarrhoea, vaginal thrush, threadworm, athletes foot, insect bites or stings, mouth ulcers, nappy rash, constipation. If symptoms persist you should seek further advice from your GP.
Remember - some pharmacies are open later in the evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays. Opening hours are available from NHS Direct 0845 4647, www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk, or you can call the pharmacy (numbers below).
Useful Phone Numbers -
Boots CMK – 01908 607327
Charpharm – 01908 320392
McLarens, New Bradwell – 01908 313389
Willen Village – 01908 671077
Stantonbury – 01908 314870
Lloyds Wolverton – 01908 315612
Jardines, Oakridge – 01908 320432
Hospital: Milton Keynes General – 01908 660033
Walk in Centre: Broughton – 01908 874444
Citizens’ Advice Bureau – 01908 604474
Community Drug & Alcohol Service – 01908 668663
Improvement of Non-Attendance at Appointments -
As you may know, the surgery has faced a big challenge with patients making appointments and then not attending. This means that other patients needing to see a doctor may not be able to get an appointment. This is also a monumental waste of the surgery’s resources.
We receive many complaints from patients who can’t get a regular appointment for some time due to the shortage of appointments and this is a contributing factor.
We began a campaign a few months ago aiming to educate patients to cancel their appointments in good time if they are unable to attend. You will be pleased to know that these figures are improving!
However, there is still some way to go and we ask that if you are unable to attend your appointment that you contact the surgery as soon as possible (ideally giving 24 hours notice).
You can cancel your appointment by telephone on 01908 221180 or online by clicking here.
We are keen to make our surgery one of the most efficient in Milton Keynes and you can help us do this!