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People are encouraged to have a personal winter plan so they are well prepared when the weather takes a turn for the worse and the season for flu, coughs and colds really kicks in.

Tehmeena Ajmal, the county's first winter director, said: "We would like everyone in Oxfordshire to have a winter plan for themselves and their family, so that they know what they can do to keep as well as possible; what they can do if they start to get unwell; and how they can look after older family members, friends or neighbours who might need some help.”

Personal winter plans should include: 

  • Having a free flu vaccination if you are in an ‘at risk’ group
  • Getting help early before your condition worsens.
  • Getting repeat prescriptions in plenty of time
  • Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet

 For more information see here: Have you thought about your winter plan?

You can also download or link to the Age UK Oxfordshire leaflet ‘Staying Well this Winter’ which is full of useful advice on how to stay well this winter.

Use antibiotics on your doctor's advice

Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves. Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.

Despite the risks of antibiotic resistance, research shows that 38% of people still expect an antibiotic from a doctor’s surgery, NHS walk-in centre or ‘GP out of hours’ service when they visited with a cough, flu or a throat, ear, sinus or chest infection in 2017. 

 
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