Self Care: Be Healthy this Winter

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group is backing  a Self Care Forum campaign to increase patient awareness about self care with the aim of reducing  pressure on GPs and A&E departments during the winter months.

The ‘Self Care for Life – Be Healthy This Winter’ message ties in with the seasonal NHS Stay Well this Winter campaign.

To improve public health and reduce pressures on the NHS, it’s vital that people are supported to care for their own and their family’s health and understand when to access NHS services and when to self-care.

Both Self Care Week and the Stay Well This Winter campaign are aimed at equipping people with this knowledge, for example by encouraging people to visit the pharmacist for advice about winter ailments and making sure they get their flu jab if eligible.

The national flu vaccination programme is available free to children aged two to six years (via a nasal spray vaccine), pregnant women, those aged 65 or over, those aged under 65 with long term conditions, and carers.

Lisa Allen, Chief Nurse at Basildon and Brentwood CCG said: “Most people are very capable of looking after themselves most of the time, self-treating when it’s safe and knowing where and when to seek help when they need it. For small children, the elderly, those with long term health problems and for pregnant women, getting the flu vaccine is the best protection this winter.  Visits to A&E for self-treatable conditions such as flu, colic and sprains add to pressure in the health system.

“Before you visit A&E, remember what it’s there for.  It provides vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.  

“If you have a cold, flu or sore throat, ask yourself, do I want to spend four hours in A&E or should I call NHS 111, look-up NHS Choices or could I ask the pharmacist first?”

The key advice from the Self Care Forum includes:

  • how to prevent ill health by choosing healthy options for good physical and mental wellbeing
  • how to look after any minor ailments or long term conditions
  • a reminder to people to ensure their medicine cabinet is well stocked 
  • how to seek help and advice on symptoms from their local pharmacist

Find out more information on self care tips and advice.

For more information visit Stay Well This Winter