Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging local people to follow eight simple steps to help them stay well over the winter months, as part of the national awareness week for Self Care.
Self Care Week runs from 13-19 November 2017 and focuses on helping people to help look after themselves better when it comes to their health.
Dr Lindsay Kinlin, a GP from The Avenue Surgery in Warminster, said: “Self care is about taking responsibility for your health and we’re encouraging Wiltshire people to make small changes to help them and their families to stay well over the festive period.”
Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s eight self care tips for Winter are:
S – see your pharmacist at the first sign of illness
Pharmacists are not only medicine experts, they can also offer advice and information on a range of minor illnesses and injuries. If you start to feel unwell this winter, even if it is just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist before it gets more serious.
E – eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
A healthy diet is vital for your wellbeing, so try and eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
L – learn more about around the clock healthcare services in Wiltshire
In Wiltshire there are many options available for when you need medical advice and treatment. Consider all of the choices available to help you make the right decision about where to go.
F – find out if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine
People who are eligible include those who are aged over 65 years, pregnant women, anyone who is the main carer for another person or who is in receipt of Carers’ Allowance, and those with a long-term condition such as diabetes or asthma. Children between the ages of two and eight years old are also eligible for the free nasal vaccination, which is quick, harmless and the best way to protect against catching flu this winter.
C – check in on your neighbours
Winter can be dangerous for elderly people, so checking they have enough supplies will mean they don’t need to go out in bad weather.
A – arrange to pick up your prescription
Many pharmacies and GP surgeries will be closed or have reduced working hours over the festive period. If you require a repeat prescription, make sure you order it in plenty of time.
R – restock your medicine cabinet
Looking after yourself when you’re feeling under the weather with a minor illness is easy if you already have a medicine cabinet stocked with painkillers, oral rehydration salts, anti-diarrhoea tables, antihistamines, indigestion treatments and a first aid kit.
E – ensure you stay warm
Cold weather can be very harmful and increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke and chest infections. Try and heat your home to at least 18°C and have a least one hot meal a day to stay warm.
Dr Kinlin continues, ”During winter our health services are put under a lot of pressure. By taking personal responsibility for our health and following our self care tips, we can help to free up valuable practitioner time, allowing us to focus on those people who need us the most.”
Find out more about small changes you can make to stay well this winter by visiting www.wiltshireccg,nhs.uk