A DOCTOR has revealed the top five reasons people unnecessarily visit their GP in the town in a bid to save patients’ time and free up NHS resources for those who ‘really need them’.

Dr Simon Redfearn, from Birchwood Medical Centre, compiled the blog ahead of a traditionally busy time as cold weather leads to trips and falls and infections becoming more common.

At the top of the list is requests for urgent appointments for fit notes or sick notes, followed by winter regulars coughs, colds, sore throats and vomiting and diarrhoea.

Alcohol misuse was also highlighted as a big problem at this time of year for the hospital with GPs also seeing patients with minor injuries after a night on the town coming in after the weekend.

The Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group's clinical lead for urgent care added: “It’s always really busy the week before Christmas and then it gets quieter on Christmas Eve and much busier again in the first week in January.

“It’s a mix of people putting things off and there being more infections going around at this time of year and lung conditions due to the cold weather.

“Common viral problems like coughs, colds, sore throats, vomiting and diarrhoea can mostly be managed at home and it’s an important part of the consultation to educate people how to manage their condition if it happens again.

“You may need to see us if you are very young or elderly and especially if you have a persistent fever, difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, sharp chest pain or an underlying medical condition but there can be up to five patients each surgery where that’s not the case and they didn’t really need to be seen that day.”

Tips from the blog include reminding employers a sick note is not legally needed unless the employee has been off for more than seven days, regular paracetamol for a sore throat and avoid eating for 12 to 24 hours if you have a tummy bug.

Mr Redfearn added: “There’s a lot of people who are now more aware but it’s just about continuing to get the message out there.”