Stay warm and well this winter

We’re supporting Public Health England’s ‘stay well this winter’ campaign for 2016 Here are our top tips for staying safe and well this winter.

Stay safe and warm - Heart of mittens

  • keep warm – by heating your home to least 18 degrees C (65F), drawing your curtains at dusk and keeping doors closed to block out draughts
  • prepare for illnesses –  by stocking up on any prescription medicines, taking prescribed medicines as directed.  If you are feeling unwell seeking help from a pharmacist, quickly, before it gets more serious, even if it’s just a cough or a cold
  • look out for other people who may need a bit of extra help over winter.

We’re also encouraging people who are eligible to take advantage of the free flu vaccine. The vaccine is offered for free to those in groups at particular risk of infection and complications. Eligible people include pregnant women, 2 to 4 year olds, under 65’s who are at risk due to a particular health condition, over 65’s or carers.

Even people who are normally quite mobile and self-sufficient should prepare for colder weather.  Good ways to stay warm, safe and healthy this winter include; wearing several thin layers of clothing, taking regular hot meals and drinks and staying active.  It is also worth stocking up on any medicines you need, and having a good store of tinned, dry or frozen foods.

It is also a good idea to keep a list of emergency numbers including NHS 111, as well as your local GP surgery and dentist. Other useful numbers include a local plumber, electrician and handyman. You could also take some time to find out if local shops and chemists will deliver to your home.

Are you a carer?

If you don’t live near to the person you care for, you could arrange an internet shop for them,  or ask a neighbour or friend to pop in if you can’t get there.

Keeping safe out and about

As the darker nights draw in it is worth trying and keep to well-lit areas. You should stay alert and avoid using expensive items like ipods and mobile phones when out in the open.  You can reduce the risk of burglary by keeping doors and windows should be kept locked.  More advice can be found on the West Yorkshire Police website

You can keep up to date on weather, school closures and gritting action on our winter pages or by following @kirkleeswinter on twitter.

Councillor Kendrick on the Stay Warm and Well winter campaign

Cllr Viv Kendrick, Kirklees Council, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:

“We know that treacherous conditions during the winter months can mean many people, particularly the elderly and frail, are unable to get out and buy food or pick up medication and for some, there are no family or friends nearby who could help.

“With this in mind, we’re asking people to look out for their vulnerable neighbours – to call in and say hello and to check if they need anything. Older people can sometimes go days without seeing or talking to anyone, and we can all do our bit to help. A friendly face of someone they know can make all the difference.

“We have an emergency adverse weather number which people can call in an emergency in bad weather.  And,  have contingency plans in place to identify friends, relatives and neighbours who may be available to help us keep people safe, warm and fed. It’s amazing the difference we can make when we all pull together in our communities to help those most vulnerable in the bad weather”.

Our NHS colleagues thoughts on the campaign

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG added:

“Winter is an extremely busy time of year for NHS services, so we want to remind people that if they are ill to use the right services.

“Make sure you have plenty of medical supplies in the house, for example some simple pain-killers, a paediatric paracetamol mixture for children and an adequate supply of any regular medications you or your family are being prescribed by your doctor.

“Remember, your local pharmacy can give advice on a wide range of conditions and can help.  For simple accidents like sprains, you don’t always need to go to your GP practice.”

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Clinical Leader, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said:

“If you catch a cold this winter, or are unfortunate enough to get the flu, it’s important to know how to look after yourself. Get plenty of rest, eat well and keep well hydrated.

“Colds and flu are caused by viruses so in most cases, antibiotics can’t help. You can buy effective over-the-counter medicines from your local pharmacy where you’ll also get advice on how best to manage your symptoms.

“If you do need medical help but it’s not an emergency, please remember that you can ring NHS 111 for advice 24/7.”

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