Stay warm and well this winter

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The CCGs in Kirklees are working with health partners and Kirklees Council to support a major NHS drive to help people ‘Stay well this winter’.

If you take prescribed medicines, they must be taken as directed by your doctor so make sure you have supplies in stock in case bad weather stops you from collecting them.

As the temperature drops, it’s a good idea to prepare for illness by making sure you have plenty of medical supplies in the house, for example some simple painkillers, cold and flu remedies and a paediatric paracetamol mixture for children.

The campaign also urges people who are eligible to take advantage of their free flu vaccine. The vaccine is offered to those in groups at particular risk of infection and complications including;

  • pregnant women;
  • two to four-year olds;
  • those under 65 who are at risk due to a particular health condition;
  • people over 65; and

If you belong to one of the groups, it’s important that you have your flu vaccination. The vaccines are normally available from late September or early October, depending on supplies. Speak to your GP or practice nurse to book a vaccination appointment and get the best possible protection.

Alternatively, most community pharmacies now offer the free NHS flu vaccination to adults in the groups listed above (not children). If you have your flu jab at a pharmacy, you don’t have to tell your GP, the pharmacist will do that for you. Text ‘pharmacy flu’ with your postcode to 80011 to find your nearest pharmacy offering the NHS flu jab (texts are charged at the standard messaging rate).

For pregnant women, the vaccine may also be available through maternity services.

If you catch a cold this winter, or are unfortunate enough to get the flu, it’s important to know how to look after yourself. Get plenty of rest, eat well and keep well hydrated. Colds and flu are caused by viruses so in most cases, antibiotics can’t help.

You can buy effective over-the-counter medicines from your local pharmacy where you’ll also get advice on how best to manage your symptoms. Remember that your local pharmacy can give advice on a wide range of conditions, not just colds and flu. For simple accidents like sprains, you don’t always need to go to your GP.

Winter is an extremely busy time of year for NHS services, so it’s important to use the right services if you are ill. If you do need medical help but it’s not a 999 emergency, please remember that you can ring NHS 111 for advice 24/7.

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