The national Stay Well This Winter campaign, launched by NHS England and Public Health England, will continue throughout the winter. All at the CCG would encourage everyone to think about the following in the coming months:
• Keep warm – This may prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia.
• Eat well – Food gives you energy, which helps keep you warm. So try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
• Get a flu jab – Flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are at risk, pregnant women, carers and some young children to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
You will see or hear further information as you go about the county this winter but the guidance at www.nhs.uk/staywell is certainly worth a few minutes of your time to read. It gives your further advice on both common winter illnesses and lists the best places to go for help.
The CCG would encourage people to try to treat common winter ailments at home where possible or following the advice of a pharmacist. Doing so will help keep valuable appointments with doctors and nurses open for those who may be in greater need.
The Christmas holiday period is traditionally the busiest time of the year for the NHS, as people who are usually in good health, perhaps wake up one morning feeling under the weather and don’t know what to do.
Dr Alistair Blair, the CCG’s Chief Clinical Officer, said: “Demand for NHS services goes up during the winter months, so it’s crucial that services are available for people who need them most.
“Winter weather means more slips and trips – and generally more of us feeling unwell as we spend more time indoors and coughs, colds and other viruses are passed around.
“That adds up to more people wanting to see their GP, attend Accident and Emergency or call 999. But it’s important to stop and consider the best service for your needs.
“Most normally healthy people with a winter illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999. Colds, sore throats, headaches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with advice from a local pharmacist, with painkillers, rest and plenty of fluids.
“Doing so will help reduce the spread of winter viruses and also keep appointments available for people with serious health conditions who must see a doctor or nurse.”