NHS partners in Norfolk and Waveney, 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 Dustyn Saint, GP at Long Stratton Medical Practice said: “As winter begins and Christmas approaches many people are beginning to plan for their Christmas meal and their Christmas shopping but we are urging people to plan for themselves and their family and neighbours too so that they know what they can do to keep as well as possible, what they can do if they start to feel 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 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
- Seeking advice from your local, pharmacist
- Making sure you are aware of the 111 service and have the number to hand
- Finding out where your local walk in centre and minor injuries unit is
- 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