Britain is running out of Lemsip and Night Nurse medicine amid soaring Covid and flu cases. Shoppers have been left empty-handed as supermarkets and pharmacies sell out of the remedies.
Lloyds Pharmacy has completely sold out with manufacturer Haleon “working hard to replenish stocks”.
It comes as demand is “much higher than in years gone by.”
It comes as people who feel unwell have been urged to wear face masks to stop the spread of flu with schools reopening this week.
“Of all the things, why is there a shortage of Night Nurse!”, one shopper moaned on social media.
A second wrote: “Anywhere that has Night Nurse in stock right now, please? I’ve genuinely never been this poorly, two weeks and counting. Proper feeling sorry for myself.”
“Really shocked to find Tesco and ALL our local chemists sold out completely of Night Nurse and paracetamol tablets,” another said. There are reports of sold-out stock at Boots stores, as well as Waitrose supermarkets.
Pressures facing the NHS are “intolerable” and have become a “major crisis”, the former head of the Royal College of Nursing has said today. Dr Peter Carter told LBC’s Nick Ferrari: “It is a terrible set of circumstances that we find ourselves in and we know that this is the result of years of underinvestment, particularly in social care.”
He added: “Now, because of winter, because of flu, because of Covid and all sorts of other problems, you’ve now got a major crisis. Back in August, an 87-year-old man in Cornwall spent 15 hours lying in his garden and his family put up a makeshift shelter up because they couldn’t get an ambulance.
“We have a crisis and there’s no good people trying to dilute it. Right now, things are intolerable and I feel for patients, but I also feel for the staff.”
Asked if the Government was aware of the problems, he added: “The Government are aware and the trouble is because they’ve been asleep at the wheel for the best part of this decade, they’re now pouring money in - they are putting £14billion in over the next two years - but that’s not going to help what’s happening this morning.
“That’s a long-term strategy, and that strategy is good, but you’re now paying for a failure to act on this crisis and now we’ve reached the tipping point.”
The number of patients in hospital with flu has risen sevenfold in a month, according to the latest data.
Health chiefs said the NHS was suffering a “twindemic” as hospital admissions for flu have increased and cases of Covid have risen.
Pupil absence rates in schools across England also rose sharply at the start of last month because of illness.
The proportion of children off-ill rose from 6.1 percent to 7.5 percent in the week beginning December 5.
New guidance has encouraged parents to keep their children away from school if they have a fever, and to urge them to wash their hands. Many children go back to school this week.
Professor Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.
“Adults should also try to stay home when unwell, and if you do have to go out wear a face covering.”
There were nearly 4,000 patients in hospital with flu on Christmas Day - 100 times more than last year, NHS England figures showed.
In the week of Christmas, 8,000 NHS staff were also off sick with Covid.
The UKHSA added that “high numbers of scarlet fever, which is caused by group A streptococcus, also continue to be reported”.