Posted by Daniel Harper at 21/11/2019 14:57:01
With Self Care Week under way (18-24 November) don’t forget the simple steps you can take to stay well this winter.
Looking after your own health at home or visiting your local pharmacy for help and advice could save you time and an unnecessary trip to your GP practice.
Winter is the busiest time for local hospitals and GP surgeries, but many common illnesses can be most easily treated with over-the-counter products and rest.
To stay healthy over the winter, people are advised to:
- Get vaccinated against the flu. People at greatest from the illness (adults 65 and over, people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age), pregnant women, children aged two and three on 31 August 2019, children in primary school, frontline health or social care workers) are eligible for the free NHS vaccination. For more information, visit the NHS website
- Seek advice from a pharmacist if you start to feel unwell. Don't risk waiting until it gets more serious – even if it's a cough, sore throat or a cold
- Try to stay active – even when you’re indoors – and stay warm in colder weather
- Eat a healthy diet with a good helping of fruit and vegetables
- Make sure your home medicine cabinet is well stocked with basic items such as painkillers (paracetamol and ibuprofen), cold and flu remedies and anti-diarrhoeal medicine. For more information, visit the pharmacy section on the NHS website.
If you do need health advice in west Kent this winter, you can seek it from:
- Your local pharmacy – You can speak to a pharmacist without having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can advise you how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments. Many also offer the flu vaccination. To find your local pharmacy and the services it offers, visit the NHS website.
- NHS 111 service – If you need medical help quickly, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the free service is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can assess you, offer advice and direct you to the right place to get the medical care you need.
The best way to tackle ill health is to avoid it in the first place. Making small changes to your lifestyle can help you stay well this winter and make a big difference to your future health.
For more information and advice, visit the NHS Live Well website.