NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Kirklees Council are continuing to support the 2016/17 Stay Well This Winter campaign which is now in its final stage.
In the run up to March, the campaign is focusing on encouraging people aged 65 or older, and those with long-term health conditions, to take specific actions to deal with cold weather and stay well over the remaining weeks of winter. If you’re 65 or older, or suffer from a long-term health condition, the cold weather can make you more likely to catch a winter illness that could become very serious.
Dr Steve Ollerton local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said:
“If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or a cold, get help from your local pharmacist before it gets more serious. They can give you advice on how to manage the symptoms and explain which over-the-counter medicines would be best suited to your condition. Many over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments such as colds, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or earache”.
At this time of year, it’s also a good idea to make sure you have supplies of over-the-counter medicines and any prescription medication you need, at home so you don’t have to go out for them and risk falling in icy conditions. If you do have to go out in severe weather, dress warmly, preferably with several layers of clothing to trap warm air, and wear ‘sensible’ non-slip shoes to limit any falls.
When you’re indoors, heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F) if you can, and move about regularly throughout the day. On cold nights, keep your bedroom window closed so that you don’t breathe in cold air which can increase the risk of chest infections.
Cllr Viv Kendrick, Kirklees Council, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:
“It’s important to keep homes warm in cold weather but if you’re struggling to do this, make sure you’re receiving all the help you’re entitled to. Learn how to make your home more energy efficient and take advantage of financial schemes to keep up with energy bills.”
There are various ways people can apply for help to keep their homes warm, including winter fuel payments, warm home discounts and cold weather payments. There’s more information in the council’s booklet ‘Advice for staying warm this winter’ which can be viewed at: https://www.greaterhuddersfieldccg.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Advice-for-staying-warm-this-winter.pdf
However well we prepare for winter, there will be people who need urgent care and healthcare professionals throughout Kirklees want to make sure those people get the right advice and treatment at the right time.
Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said:
“Anyone with an urgent care need is asked to call NHS 111 and avoid visiting A&E unless it is an emergency. The NHS 111 service is fast, easy, free and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You’ll speak to a highly trained advisor, supported by healthcare professionals, who will direct you to the best medical care for you”.
Just a few simple preparations can help us look after ourselves and our loved ones and if we can, we should also try to look out for vulnerable neighbours to make sure they also stay healthy, safe and well this winter.