The Stay Well This Winter campaign has been developed to help the public, and in particular those with long-term health conditions (such as breathing difficulties, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart, liver or kidney disease, stroke or TIA, neurological conditions and learning disabilities) and those over 65 prepare for winter and ward off common winter illnesses so they do not require a visit to the hospital.
Older people and those with long term health conditions are more vulnerable to the cold weather and winter bugs, even if you usually feel healthy. You can protect yourself against ill-health this winter in a number of ways. A free flu jab is available through your GP or pharmacist if you are 65 or over, or have a long-term health condition. Pregnant women should get the flu jab too. Children aged 2, 3 and 4 should get a free flu nasal spray from their GP and the spray is available for children in school years 1, 2 and 3 through school.
It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, and look out for frail neighbours and relatives.
If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious, get help from your pharmacist. The sooner you get advice the better – pharmacists are here to help you stay well this winter. If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or any other medication, make sure you take them as directed.
Make sure to pick up any prescription medicines before Christmas Eve. If you do need help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit www.nhs.uk. The Stay Well This Winter campaign can help you and your family prepare for winter. Visit http://www.nhs.uk/staywell for more information