Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is supporting the national Stay Well This Winter campaign to help people with long-term health conditions and those over 65 prepare for winter and ward off common winter illnesses.
Winter can be seriously bad for the health of these people, increasing the risk of blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. There are a number of things you can do to prepare against the cold weather:
- At the first sign of a cough or cold, get immediate advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious. Find your nearest Pharmacy.
- Speak to your pharmacist about medicines you should have in stock over winter.
- Pick up prescription medications before the Christmas holidays start as many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays.
- It is important to keep warm in winter, so heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.
- Make sure you get your flu jab.
- If you need help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit www.nhs.uk.
The Stay Well This Winter campaign can help you and your family prepare for winter. Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more information.
Making the right choice
- Hangover, sore throat or cough? You can self-care. Very minor illnesses and injuries can be easily treated at home using medicine cabinet essentials like plasters, bandages, antiseptic creams and over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol and cough medicine.
- Diarrhoea, runny nose, painful cough or headache? Visit your local pharmacy. Your local pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional and can give you the advice and medicines you need to treat yourself when you have a common health problem which does not require attention from a doctor or nurse.
- Vomiting, ear pain, stomach ache or back ache? See your GP. If your GP is closed call NHS 111.
- Cuts, rashes or strains? Visit an NHS walk-in centre or urgent care centre. If you need medical treatment or advice that does not need a visit to A&E, an NHS walk-in centre or urgent care centre is the best choice. You do not need to make an appointment and you will be seen by an experienced nurse. Bridgewater provides walk-in centres / minor injury units in Leigh and St Helens and an urgent care centre in Widnes, which are staffed over the bank holidays.
- Choking, chest pain, severe bleeding or blacking out? Go to A&E or call 999. If you need immediate emergency care for serious illness or life-threatening situations go to A&E or call 999.
Need additional advice? You can visit the NHS Choice website, which provides a comprehensive health information service.
The NHS Stay Well This Winter website has a range of information for the following groups: