GP Winter Campaign Toolkit

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Welcome to the Winter Communications Toolkit 2020/21

This toolkit provides a 'one-stop-shop' for resources to help GP practices raise awareness within their practice and local community of the importance of flu vaccinations and keeping as well possible during this coming winter, which will see greater pressures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  .

The materials for this year's toolkit will be available shortly and will include 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 Improvement and Public Health England.

Background to winter campaign

The winter campaign in Oxfordshire will run from October 2020 until March 2021. 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 is the overarching theme again this year and carries messages around staying well and the increased importance of flu vaccinations among targeted at-risk groups. 

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

'Take the drama out of minor illnesses' - three pharmacy posters:

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

The Oxfordshire Advice Card has been updated this year to include messages about COVID-19; the card is the size of a credit card (concertinaed) and has information on NHS 111, Minor Injury Units, Out of Hours GP services, 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. Printed will be  distributed to all GP practices in Oxfordshire so patients who come in for face-to-face can help themselves and take them to share with family and friends. You can order more copies of the advice card by emailing: occg.media-team@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 encourage your patients to download the NHS phone app y using this message on your website, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts:  

The NHS app is available to help you:

  • get advice about coronavirus 

  • order repeat prescriptions 

  • book appointments 

  • get health advice online and find locations
    of local services 

  • view your medical record 

  • register your organ donation decision  

Download the app free from the App Store and Google Play.

 

 

  • 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 this winter before the season for flu, coughs and colds really kicks in. Being prepared is more important than ever this year in case you have to self-isolate and are unable to leave your home or become unwell with coronavirus.

Dr Kiren Collison, Clinical Lead 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.”

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

This year, the NHS is aiming to vaccinate around 4.5 million people in the South East – up from 2.6 million last winter – to help prevent the spread of flu. For the first time, children in school Year 7, and household contacts and carers of those on the NHS Shielded Patient List, are all eligible for the free vaccination. The full list of those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine on the NHS is below:

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2 and 3
  • Children in primary school and Year 7
  • 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
  • Patients on the NHS shielded patient list
  • Household contacts of carers and those on the NHS shielded patient list

Dr Edward Capo-Bianco, Urgent Care Lead at Oxfordshire CCG 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 - 11; and pregnant women may all be eligible. https://www.nhs.uk/staywell/#0lVUL7zdYQ35MGyS.97 #OxonStayWell

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 #OxonStayWell - for more information see: https://tinyurl.com/y7b4ss2b

Pregnant women can get a free flu jab. Speak to your GP, pharmacist or midwife #fluvaccine #OxonStayWell

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 #HelpUsHelpYou #OxonStayWell

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 #OxonStayWell #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 #OxonStayWell

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.

"Having a flu vaccination if you are eligible, washing your hands after being out and not missing your normal regular medications can help prevent illness. If you do fall ill, a well-stocked medicine cabinet and advice from your local pharmacist or NHS 111 can help. NHS 111 can now be accessed online via a mobile phone, tablet or laptop to get advice even quicker at NHS.111.UK.

"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:

  • People aged 65 years and over
  • Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2 and 3
  • Children in primary school and Year 7
  • 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
  • Patients on the NHS shielded patient list
  • Household contacts of carers and those on the NHS shielded patient list

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 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"

 Link to 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.

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

Messages for different audiences 

CARERS 

The below posts are for those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.  

  • Flu can easily spread to those around you who are vulnerable and for whom you have caring responsibilities. The free flu vaccine is the best protection for those who are most at risk. Ask your pharmacist or GP today if you or the person you care for is eligible for a free vaccine #HelpUsHelpYou #OxonStayWell
  • Flu can be serious and can be easily spread to those who are more vulnerable. If you are in receipt of a carer’s allowance or are the main carer of an older or disabled person you are eligible for the free flu vaccination. Ask your pharmacist or GP today if you’re eligible for a free vaccine #HelpUsHelpYou #OxonStayWell

 PARENTS

  • ‘Just the flu? There is no just about it. If your child was aged 2 or 3 on the 31 August, protect them and those around them with a free flu vaccine. It’s just a quick nasal spray. To find out more speak to your GP today. #HelpUsHelpYou #OxonStayWell
  • The flu virus kills thousands every year. The flu vaccine helps to protect those most at risk. If your child was aged 2 or 3 on the 31 August, protect them and those around them with a free flu vaccine. It’s just a quick nasal spray. Ask your GP today. #HelpUsHelpYou #OxonStayWell
  • ‘Just the flu? There is no just about it. If your child was aged 2 or 3 on the 31 August, protect them and those around them with a free flu vaccine. It’s just a quick nasal spray. To find out more speak to your GP today. #getyourflujab #OxonStayWell
  • ‘Just the flu? There is no just about it. If your child was aged 2 or 3 on the 31 August, protect them and those around them with a free flu vaccine. It’s just a quick nasal spray. To find out more speak to your GP today. #getyourflujab #OxonStayWell
  • Flu spreads easily and you could have it without having any symptoms. That’s why we are giving a free flu nasal spray vaccine to children aged 4 to 11. Please sign the school consent form to make sure your child gets their vaccine and help prevent the spread of flu this winter. #OxonStayWell #HelpUsHelpYou

LONG TERM HEAQTH CONDITIONS

  • ‘Just the flu? There is no just about it. If you have a long-term health condition it can cause serious complications. Ask your pharmacist or GP today if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine. #getyourflujab #OxonStayWell

SHIELDED

  • This year, adults and children living with others who are on the NHS shielded patient list will be eligible for the flu vaccination for the first time. Speak to your pharmacist or GP to find out more. #getyourflujab #OxonStayWell
  • In an average year the flu virus kills thousands of people and hospitalises many thousands more. If you live with someone on the NHS shielded patient list, speak to your pharmacist or GP about the free flu vaccine #getyourflujab #OxonStayWell
  • If you live with someone who is on the NHS shielded patient list then you need to help protect them from the flu virus this year by getting the free flu jab. Speak to your pharmacist or GP to find out more. #getyourflujab #OxonStayWell

PREGNANT

  • Just the flu? There is no just about it. If you’re pregnant the flu virus can cause harm to you and your baby. Ask your pharmacist, GP or midwife today about the free flu vaccine. #getyourflujab #OxonStayWell

OVER 65s

  • Every year the flu virus kills thousands of people and hospitalises many thousands more. People aged 65 years and over are more likely to experience serious complications from flu. Ask your pharmacist or GP about getting a free flu jab. #getyourflujab #OxonStayWell