With the unpredictable seasonal weather continuing, people are being encouraged to take action at the first sign of feeling poorly to help them stay well for the remainder of the winter.
Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group are supporting Public Health England’s Stay Well this Winter campaign which aims to ensure people who are most at risk from suffering ill-health this winter are aware of the support available to them.
Illnesses which commonly occur at this time of year such as colds, sore throats and coughs do not always need to be treated with a visit to the GP, so if people stock up on medication such as pain relief, sore throat medicines and cough syrups then they will be well prepared should they start to feel ill– particularly those aged 65 years and over or with long-term health conditions.
Local pharmacists are also a valuable resource and a great first point of contact for someone feeling ill, with staff able to offer initial advice and guidance to anyone who may be suffering from a winter-related illness.
Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, Jerry Wickham said: “People tend to pick up all sorts of minor illnesses at this time of year so it pays to be well-prepared should anyone start to feel poorly. Our health services continue to be under pressure this winter so anything we can do to ease that will really help.”
Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group added, “There are numerous ways for people to get healthcare advice and treatment and knowing what health services are available when you start to feel ill, will help you manage your condition quicker. To help you understand the range of healthcare services available and to help you make the right decision about where to go for treatment, Wiltshire CCG has produced an easy to use “Around the clock healthcare in Wiltshire” leaflet, available to download from their website.”
People who are able to make the right decision on the type of treatment they need, are actively helping to ease the strain on the health services by taking personal responsibility for their health. This helps free up time for doctors and healthcare professionals allowing them to focus on those people who need their services the most.
If anyone does need medical help and advice on where to go to access the right healthcare, and it’s not an emergency, they should call NHS 111 anytime. It’s free and they operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more advice and support people should visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/publichealth or www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk