Hammersmith and Fulham CCG is urging residents of Hammersmith and Fulham, particularly those with long-term conditions and those over 65, to Stay Well This Winter and ward off common winter illnesses so they do not require a visit to the hospital.
People should protect themselves against flu by getting the flu vaccination. In 2014/15 there were over 1,100 intensive care and high dependency hospital admissions due to the flu virus across England during the flu season, including 100 deaths. Those aged over 65, pregnant women, carers and people with a long-term health condition can receive a free flu jab from their GP or pharmacist. GPs are offering the nasal spray vaccine to children aged two to four years and, in the majority of areas in England, to children in school years 1 and 2. There is also a school-based vaccination programme in England for children in years 1 and 2, involving around 17,000 schools. The nasal spray is quick, effective and painless.
Residents should ensure that they keep warm in winter too– both inside and outdoors. If possible the temperature of people’s home should be at least 18°C (65°F). At the first sign of illness, residents should seek immediate advice and help from their pharmacist. They should take prescribed medicines as directed and pick up any prescription medicines before Christmas Eve.
Dr Tim Spicer, Chair of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG says:
“The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent catching flu. Those who are offered the vaccine for free on the NHS should ensure that they get vaccinated and get the protection they need.
Keeping warm in the cold weather is essential to staying healthy, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic illness. Cold indoor or outdoor environments can make heart and respiratory problems worse which could be fatal.
At Hammersmith and Fulham CCG, we are making sure we give people the information they need to help them to look after themselves and also to know where to go for urgent advice - whether it's pharmacies, NHS Choices, NHS 111 or A&E."
If residents need help over the holiday period when their GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, they should call NHS 111 or visit www.nhs.uk who can direct them to a local service that is open. The Stay Well This Winter campaign can help residents and their families prepare for winter. Visit http://www.nhs.uk/staywell/ for more information.