Have you thought about your winter plan?
Date: 06 November 2018
NHS partners in Oxfordshire, together with local councils and volunteer organisations, are encouraging people to have a personal winter plan so they are well prepared when the weather takes a turn for the worse and the season for flu, coughs and colds really kicks in.
A winter plan is a sensible way to stay well.
Tehmeena Ajmal, the county's first winter director, said: "We would like everyone in Oxfordshire to have a winter plan for themselves and their family, so that they know what they can do to keep as well as possible; what they can do if they start to get unwell; and how they can look after older family members, friends or neighbours who might need some help.
"Winter illnesses can be headed off by taking action early, so making sure you are stocked up at home with basic cold and flu medication. Or you can visit your local pharmacist for advice and the right medicines. And NHS 111 will provide advice on the most appropriate place to go for treatment if you don't feel well. "Obviously there will be times when people become seriously unwell and hospital is the right place for them to be. But by taking a few simple steps and putting together your winter plan you may help yourself avoid admission to hospital."
Personal winter plans should include:
- Having a free flu vaccination if you are in an ‘at risk’ group
- Getting help early before your condition worsens.
- Getting repeat prescriptions in plenty of time
- Finding out where your local minor injuries unit is
- Seeking advice from your local, pharmacist
- Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet
- Stocking up on winter food supplies
- Getting your boiler serviced
- Keeping your home heated to 18C
- Having a list of emergency phone numbers handy by your phone
- Keeping an eye on elderly or frail friends, neighbours and relative
Notes to editors:
- A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for the following:
- Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
- People aged 65 years and over
- Pregnant women
- All children aged two to nine (but not 10 years or older) on 31 August 2018
- All other children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu
- People in long-stay residential care homes
- At risk conditions: The free flu vaccine is available to patients who have one of the following conditions: a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma, kidney disease, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment), liver disease, had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, neurological condition e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), morbid obesity (BMI over 40), cerebral palsy or learning disability.
- Public Health England has also published the ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ leaflet which provides advice on staying well in cold weather and covers issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle, flu jabs and heating - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keep-warm-keep-well-leaflet-gives-advice-on-staying-healthy-in-cold-weather
Having a plan could keep you out of hospital this winter.
- Date:06 November 2018