GP Winter Campaign Toolkit

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Welcome to the Winter Communications Toolkit 2019/20

This toolkit provides a 'one-stop-shop' for resources to help GP practices raise awareness within their practice and local community.

This includes posters and leaflets, articles for GP websites and suggested social media activity. It also provides links to other resources and promotional material for national campaigns from NHS England and Public Health England.

Background to winter campaign

The local winter campaign in Oxfordshire will run from October 2019 until March 2020. The campaign's aim is to ensure that people living in Oxfordshire are aware of and take action to keep well and help avoid an admission to hospital this winter. The messages focus on the following:

  • Self-care – treating winter illnesses at home 
  • Flu vaccination – book your flu jab now
  • Being prepared - stocking up your medicine cabinet/repeat prescriptions / what is your winter plan?
  • NHS services - guide to local NHS services
  • Your health 

All local activity will also support the national winter campaigns. You can access a range of resources on the links below including national and local material.

 

National Resources

Help us, Help you

help us help you this winterThe national 'Help Us Help You' campaign incorporates messages around staying well, NHS 111, flu, pharmacy and extended GP access. All GP practices will be receiving a resources pack for flu in October, and there are winter campaign films available here on the OCCG YouTube site. 

A selection of the Help Us, Help You promotional material is available to download here:

Translated flu advice leaflet: 'Flu vaccinations: who should have it this winter and why':

For more resources visit the Public Health England national campaign resource site – Help Us, Help You. If this is your first visit to the site, you will need to register with your NHS email to access materials.

 

Local resources

Below are resources that GP practices can use to help raise awareness to support winter communications activity. These include:

  • Service Card information

OCCG has developed an Oxfordshire Advice Card; the card is the size of a credit card (concertinaed) and has information on NHS 111, Minor Injury Units, Out of Hours GP services, GP extended access, pharmacy, A&E / Emergency, leaving hospital, carers, advice for keeping warm, mental health services (TalkingSpacePlus and Safe Haven) and self-care.

This card can be used throughout the winter period to promote appropriate use of services and self-care. Hard copies are being distributed to all GP practices in Oxfordshire along with display stands so patients can help themselves. You can order more copies of the advice card by emailing: richard.mccrann@nhs.net

  • Posters and flyers – for display stands and patient waiting areas

Winter campaign posterWinter illnesses - posters and flyers are available to download from the ‘related downloads' section at the foot of this page.

  • Digital Screens: to upload to screens in waiting areas

A selection of images that can be uploaded to digital screens in waiting areas are listed below:

 

  • Phone App

Please include the following text on your websites / Facebook / twitter sites and encourage people to download the app:

The ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app helps people choose and access the right local NHS service such as pharmacies, GPs or minor injuries units when they feel unwell or need advice. The app also points people to the support provided by adult social care.

Download the app below:

  • Keep warm and well

    Better Housing Better Health provides free impartial advice on lower energy bills, how to manage fuel debt and energy saving tips - for more information visit: www.bhbh.org.uk
  • Website resources – to upload to Practice websites

Practices are encouraged to update their website with patient information about current campaigns. You can use the following copy/text on your website.

Website Copy A

Have you thought about your winter plan?

People are encouraged 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.

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.”

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
  • Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet

 For more information see here: Have you thought about your winter plan?

 You can also download or link to the Age UK Oxfordshire leaflet ‘Staying Well this Winter’ which is full of useful advice on how to stay well this winter.

 

Website Copy B

Use antibiotics on your doctor's advice

Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves. Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.

Despite the risks of antibiotic resistance, research shows that 38% of people still expect an antibiotic from a doctor’s surgery, NHS walk-in centre or ‘GP out of hours’ service when they visited with a cough, flu or a throat, ear, sinus or chest infection in 2017. 

(Please note: To access material on the Public Health England resource website you will need to register if it’s your first visit to the site).

 

Website Copy C

Now’s the time to get your free flu jab

A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for the following:

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
  • Pregnant women
  • Children in primary school
  • People in long-stay residential care homes
  • Social care and hospice workers who provide direct patient contact
  • Health and social care staff working in residential/nursing homes

Dr Edward Capo-Bianco, Clinical Locality Director at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The flu is not the same as getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater for people within the ‘at-risk’ groups. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to a stay in hospital, permanent disability or even death.”

 For more information on the flu vaccination visit the nhs.uk website here


Social media  

Practices are encouraged to help raise awareness of campaigns through their social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  You can use any of the following tweets and Facebook posts on your accounts.  Alternatively, please follow the OCCG Facebook and Twitter sites and retweet/share our activity (@OxonCCG) A series of images that can be used on social media are available to downloaded from the ‘related downloads' section at the foot of this page.

Some examples of social media posts that you can use/edit appropriately are shown below:

Tweets and Facebook messages

Now’s the time to get your free flu jab! Over 65; long term health conditions; children aged 2 - 10; and pregnant women may all be eligible. https://www.nhs.uk/staywell/#0lVUL7zdYQ35MGyS.97
Parents of children aged 2 and 3 can take them to have a free nasal spray flu vaccination at their GP practice when invited #HelpUsHelpYou - for more information see: https://tinyurl.com/y7b4ss2b
Pregnant women can get a free flu jab. Speak to your GP, pharmacist or midwife #fluvaccine #HelpUsHelpYou
If you have an underlying health condition like bronchitis, diabetes or heart disease, make sure you get your free #fluvaccine. It’s free because you need it. Speak to your GP or pharmacist today
If you are the main carer for someone who is elderly or disabled, speak to your GP or pharmacist about having a flu vaccine along with the person you care for #fluvaccine #HelpUsHelpYou
Don’t wait until you feel worse – even if it’s a cough or cold consult your pharmacist before it gets more serious #HelpUsHelpYou

 Articles for Practice newsletters

Practices are encouraged to promote campaigns within their local community.  The following article, which is a more general article about winter health can be used in Practice newsletters or local community newsletters such as PPGs, parish councils and community groups.  Images to go alongside it are available to download from the ‘related downloads' section at the foot of this page.  

Example Article: Help up Help you Stay Well this winter / what is your winter plan?

"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.

Dr Kiren Collison, Clinical Director at Oxfordshire CCG, 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 and 111 online 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

 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 in primary school
  • All other children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu
  • People in long-stay residential care homes
  • Carers

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"