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Stay Well This Winter

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Get ready for winter

Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or over, and people with long-term conditions.

We want to help protect you and those you care for.

Information provided below from www.nhs.uk/staywell

 

Winter health advice

Cold weather doesn't have to go hand in hand with illness. Here are some simple things you can do to help yourself stay well this winter.

  • Keep warm – this may help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia.
  • Eat well – food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
  • Get a flu jab – flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are at risk, pregnant women, carers and some young children to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications. vaccinations are available from your GP practice or at  chemists across Barnsley.

Check out this short film about some of the myths surrounding flu.

Winter illnesses

Common winter illnesses

  • Colds – to ease the symptoms of a cold, drink plenty of fluids and try to rest. Steam inhalation and vapour rubs can also help. Prevent colds from spreading by washing your hands thoroughly, cleaning surfaces regularly and always sneeze and cough into tissues, throwing them away after use.
    Find out more about treating colds
  • Sore throats – a sore throat is almost always caused by a viral infection, such as a cold. Try not to eat or drink anything that’s too hot, as this could further irritate your throat; cool or warm drinks and cool, soft foods should go down easier.
    Find out more about treating sore throats
  • Asthma – a range of weather-related triggers can set off asthma symptoms, including cold air. Covering your nose and mouth with a warm scarf when you’re out can help.
    Find out more about treating asthma
  • Norovirus – this is also known as the winter vomiting bug, although it can cause diarrhoea too. The main thing to do to is drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can also take paracetamol for any aches, pains or fever.
    Find out more about treating norovirus
  • Flu – if you’re 65 or over, have a long-term health condition such as diabetes or kidney disease, flu can be life-threatening, so it’s important to seek help early. However, if you’re generally fit and healthy, the best treatment is to rest, stay warm and drink plenty of water.
    Find out more about treating flu

Getting help

If you’re not sure which NHS service you need, call 111. An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then give you the advice you need, or direct you straightaway to the best service for you in your area.

Visit your local pharmacy first

Pharmacists are expert in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. You don’t need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are a good first port of call. Your pharmacist will say if you need further medical attention. You can use the handy Barnsley PharmacyFirst service, without the need to see a GP.

I HEART Barnsley

This is an additional GP and nurse service for people across the borough, offering appointments up to 10pm on a weekday and from 9am-1pm on a Saturday and Sunday. They offer urgent and routine appointments, telephone and email consultations with a nurse or GP. Call them direct on 01226 242419 or visit their website http://www.iheartbarnsley.org.uk/ 

See your family doctor

GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and carry out simple surgical procedures. Your GP will arrange a referral to a hospital specialist should you need it.