Stay warm and well this winter

As the mercury drops the further into winter we get, it is important for us to do all we can to stay well and keep warm

Dec 9 2016

Stay well

Hampshire County Council is encouraging those who are most at risk from catching flu to take up their vaccination this winter.

The NHS offers the flu vaccine free of charge to those individuals most at risk from catching flu and developing serious complications. This includes anyone who is the main carer for an elderly or disabled person at home, pregnant women, the over 65s and others with certain existing health conditions, such as diabetes and asthma.

Hampshire County Council is also again providing flu vaccines to its frontline health and social care staff who work with elderly or vulnerable groups.

This year, the nasal vaccine is also being offered to children aged 2-4 years, those in Hampshire school years 1, 2 and 3, as well as those with a long-term health condition.

The vaccine is reviewed annually to match the main flu viruses expected. There is generally a good match between the vaccine and the flu virus circulating – making it very effective. In addition to the flu vaccination, everyone can reduce their risk of getting flu or passing it to others through good hygiene. Using tissues when coughing or sneezing, putting used tissues in the bin and washing hands regularly, all stops infection spreading.

If you are feeling unwell try getting advice from your pharmacist before calling your GP.

Did you know that annually there are around 52 million GP appointments and 3.7 million A&E visits for conditions which people could have been treated for at home, or with pharmacists’ advice?

Many people don’t know that pharmacists are expert healthcare professionals who can give advice and recommend treatments for minor health conditions such as coughs, colds, sore throats and childhood fever.

Instead of waiting for an appointment at your surgery, visit your local pharmacy first.

Find a pharmacist near you

As the weather gets colder, it is important to stay warm at home. However, some families or vulnerable people will struggle to do this.

Hampshire County Council’s Hitting the Cold Spots initiative can help. Now in its sixth year, this county-wide fuel poverty project offers advice and support to people who are having trouble staying warm during the winter, including home visits, help to access funding for boiler repairs and replacements, provision of temporary heating, and small grants for winter fuel emergencies. Hampshire residents can also find out more about tariff switching and  other services for further help, including home safety visits and healthy living advice.

If you or someone you know has concerns about keeping warm and well this winter, please contact an advisor on Freephone 0800 804 8601 or email staywarm@environmentcentre.com. For more information about the service visit the Hitting the Cold Spots webpage.