Many people end up at hospitals with minor injuries that could often be treated more quickly elsewhere or at their own home.
People can make sure they are prepared for illness or injury if it strikes by stocking up on over the counter remedies such as paracetamol for aches and pains, rehydration powders for stomach upsets and antiseptics for cuts.
It’s also worth making sure you add plasters, bandages, a thermometer and tissues to the shopping list.
A well-stocked medicine cabinet will help avoid making unnecessary trips to find a pharmacy or shop that is open over the Christmas holidays and in some cases prevent a journey to the minor injuries unit.
Pharmacists offer year round advice and have private spaces where you can talk in confidence if you wish. They can also prescribe an emergency supply of medication if any visiting friends or relatives forget to renew or bring with them a supply of their regular medication.
Dr Iain Chorlton, chairman of NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want everyone to have a happy and healthy Christmas.
“During this time of the year too many people turn-up at hospitals with minor injuries and illnesses when they could get quicker, more appropriate treatment elsewhere.
“We need to keep the emergency department free for people who need urgent medical attention for serious illness or injury and potentially life-saving care.
“No one wants to be ill over Christmas but winter and socialising over the festivities often brings with it coughs, colds stomach bugs and flu, which is why it’s important to stock up the medicine cabinet and so you can make sure you can return to your celebrations as soon as possible.”