The colder winter months can be challenging for the NHS, especially for our Emergency Department.
As the temperatures drop outside we are asking the public to Help Us, Help You by encouraging vulnerable people – frail, older people and those with underlying health conditions – to take better care of their health.
If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets worse, get help from your pharmacist. This is particularly important if you have a long-term health condition like COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart or kidney disease, or have suffered a stroke, as cold weather can make health problems like these much worse. The sooner you get advice the better and your community pharmacist can offer you helpful tips and advice.
It is important to keep warm when the mercury dips to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems. It is advised that you heat your home to 18 degrees (65F).
If you’ve been prescribed medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start, as some GP practices and pharmacies will close over the Bank Holidays.
If you need help over the festive period, when your GP or pharmacy is closed, contact NHS 111 to ensure you get the right medical attention urgently or visit 111.nhs.uk which can direct you to a local service that is open.
Please remember the Emergency Department is for those patients requiring emergency care for serious and life-threatening conditions. People who attend the Emergency Department are seen in order of clinical priority and not in the order they arrive; this means an attendance with a minor injury or ailment may result in a long wait.
Older neighbours, relatives, friends and other elderly members of the community are more vulnerable in the winter months and may need a bit of extra help, so make sure you keep in touch, check if they are feeling under the weather, help them stock up on food supplies and make sure they have the necessary medication.
Read more advice on how you can Help Us, Help You this winter by clicking here.