Have you thought about having a winter plan?
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.
Flu Vaccination: If you haven't already had your flu vaccine and you are in one of the 'at risk' groups there is still time to get your free flu jab
A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for the following:
- People aged 65 years and over
- Patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (see below)
- Pregnant women
- All children aged two to nine (but not 10 years or older) on 31 August 2018
- People in long-stay residential care homes
At risk conditions: The free flu vaccine is available to patients who have one of the following conditions: a heart problem, a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma, kidney disease, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment), liver disease, had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), diabetes, neurological condition e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), morbid obesity (BMI over 40), cerebral palsy or learning disability.
Dr Edward Capo-Bianco, Clinical Locality Director at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The flu is not the same as getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health and the risks of developing complications are greater for people within the ‘at-risk’ groups. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to a stay in hospital, permanent disability or even death.”