Use your head when it comes to your feet this winter

Weather forecasters are predicting heavy snow and ice in the coming weeks so there’s a risk that some of us could fall victim to slips and trips.

That’s why advice from a new NHS campaign is to ‘use your head when it comes to your feet.’

Avoiding sprains – or even worse, broken bones – is just one of the areas of advice covered in the campaign, aimed at helping people stay well and accident-free during the winter months.

NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has joined together with other West Yorkshire CCGs to fund the campaign which is backed up by a new website – www.nhsstaywell.org – a one-stop, go-to place for a whole range of winter health advice.

The website gives information on how to treat sprains and strains with PRICE therapy. PRICE stands for Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation – some of which should be used and some not. But, if people are unlucky enough to take a tumble and sustain minor bumps and bruises, they can treat themselves at home, without the need to visit their GP or A&E department.

Demand on emergency services increases dramatically during the winter but it is important that people stop and think: does this illness or injury really need emergency treatment? Many people who attend hospital A&E departments don’t really need to be there. If they do need medical care, there are other NHS services which are more appropriate.

The new campaign and website explains clearly what to do if feeling unwell as well as what to do in an emergency.

Topics covered include: stocking up your medicine cabinet, thinking ahead when it comes to prescriptions, getting the best from your pharmacist and the importance of hand-washing to keep bugs like norovirus (winter vomiting) at bay.

There’s also a wealth of information about how to treat coughs and colds, getting protected against winter flu, and how to check your symptoms quickly and easily with the NHS symptom checker.

Dr David Kelly, Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG, said: “We want people to stay well this winter but if they do get ill, this campaign will give them all the information they need to get the right treatment, even if that’s self-care, so that our accident and emergency service is left for those people who need it.

“If you use an alternative to A&E when you aren’t seriously ill, it could mean that you end up waiting for less time to receive care. This will also leave emergency services able to devote time to helping those with life-threatening and emergency conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and serious injuries.”

Radio adverts are being aired on stations across the region and details of the campaign have been sent out to dozens of voluntary and community groups, so that as many people as possible can stay well during the winter.

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