A column by Dr Amanda Webb, GP at Westrop Surgery and Clinical Chair for Swindon, NHS BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
As the cold weather sets in, winter illnesses are once again on the rise. We all know our health services remain under extreme pressure, so we’d like to help you stay fit and well and to access any care you do need as quickly as possible. Calling your surgery isn't always the best option so here's a quick guide to your alternatives this winter – the right care in the right place at the right time.
Stay healthy - get vaccinated!
Prevention is better than cure and vaccination is the best way to keep you and your family healthy. We’re already seeing a surge of flu so if you’re over 65 or have a long-term health condition, book yours now.
The covid vaccine is the best way we have of protecting you and those you love from the virus. We’re focusing on booster jabs for people over 50, those with long-term health conditions and children aged 12-15 but we’re also offering first and second dose vaccinations to anyone who hasn’t had one yet. Visit www.nhs.uk to make your appointment with the national booking service.
Stock up your medicine cabinet
Painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen can ease aches and pains and lower temperatures, while for stomach upsets, oral rehydration salts to prevent dehydration can make all the difference.
Looking after yourself at home can help you feel better more quickly and saves GP appointments for the times when you need one the most.
Use your local pharmacist
Pharmacists are highly trained professionals and offer advice (to doctors as well as patients) on which medicines are best for you and your family. Our pharmacies have consultation rooms so you can discuss things in private and you’ll find everything you may need along with the advice on how to use it. Pharmacists can be the fastest way to get the care you need and they’re just around the corner.
Think 111 first
Keep your family warm and well at home this winter with these simple steps while also protecting our NHS. We’re here when you need us.