Help Us, Help You Stay Well This Winter
In winter, the number of A&E attendances increases substantially, putting an additional, but sometimes avoidable, burden on the NHS.
The 'Help Us, Help You' campaign encourages the most vulnerable people in society to take better care of their health as the colder months approach, by promoting self-care and preventative health measures; and helps people to find the right NHS service for their medical need to better enable the NHS to help them.
For more information on how to #Stay Well This Winter, please visit www.nhs.uk/staywell
Click the link to download the patient leaflet We're here to help you stay well this winter The leaflet is available in alternative formats here www.nhs.uk/staywell
What can you do to stay well this winter?
Have your flu jab
Getting flu is a miserable experience usually meaning days off work or days in bed. For some, flu can lead to serious complications and can be deadly. If you are at risk, now is the time to get your free vaccination from your GP or local Somerset pharmacy.
Find out more about free flu vaccinations on this website
Keep yourself warm
Heat your home to at least 18 degrees C (or 65F) if you can. In colder weather, keeping yourself warm is essential to staying healthy, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic illness.
For more information on keeping warm in winter, visit the NHS website and click here for advice on how to keep Warm Keep Well
Get help from your pharmacy first
If you start to feel ill, even if it's just a cough or cold, seek immediate help and advice from your pharmacist before it gets too serious. We all know that pharmacists dispense medicines, but they do a lot more than that. Local pharmacies offer a range of health services that you may not be aware of.
For more information on how your local pharmacy can help, visit the NHS website
Don't forget your medicines
Prescriptions - Make sure you get your prescriptions in time before your pharmacy closes on Christmas Eve. And if you are already taking a prescription medicine, make sure you finish the course. Sign up for GP Online Services and order your repeat prescriptions online.
Medicine cabinet - Even a minor illness and ailments such as colds, headaches and diarrhoea can disrupt your life. Be prepared for most common ailments by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home.
For more information on what you should keep in your medicine cabinet visit the NHS website
What if I do become ill?
Call NHS 111
NHS 111 is a free number to call if you are unsure what to do or become ill after your GP surgery has closed. Telephone 111 when you need medical advice or information quickly or when you don't know what to do or where to go for treatment. Calls to 111 are free from mobiles and landlines for this 24/7 service.
For more information on NHS 111 visit the NHS website
Contact your GP
If you have a persistent health problem that is not going away contact your GP. There are 75 GP surgeries across the county providing a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. Many GPs can also offer advice over the phone.
Should you become ill after your GP surgery has closed, ring your surgery’s telephone number and listen to the answer phone message or telephone 111 for advice.
Visit your local community hospital minor injury unit
If your injury or ailment is not too serious you can get help from a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) rather than a busy hospital A&E department.
Many of Somerset’s community hospitals have Minor Injury Units (MIU). There are MIUs at community hospitals in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Minehead and Shepton Mallet.
To check the location and opening hours of your nearest Minor Injury Unit visit the Somerset Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust website
Dial 999 or visit A&E
Only use A&E or call 999 for life threatening and emergency conditions. If a family member is experiencing chest pain, stroke, heavy bleeding or has become unconscious telephone 999 immediately for an ambulance. If you are not sure whether it is an emergency, call 111 first.
If any member of the public believes themselves, or a friend or relative, is experiencing a life threatening medical emergency then they should always telephone 999 and ask for an ambulance.