Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

 

Visiting the doctor may not be the best idea this winter

November 2018

Nurse giving old woman injection
Doing what we can to stay healthy this winter

As we get older, winter can appear to be longer and more difficult. The cold dark nights, the cost of heating, the dull miserable daylight hours...it all begins to wear us down. Add to that the fact we are more likely to get sick in winter than in summer, and it really can be a difficult time.

But sometimes, when we feel we have a problem and take ourselves off to see our doctor or even the local A&E department, would we in fact have been better in treating the problem ourselves?

This is the subject of a new campaign just launched by NHS England and Public Health England. It is called:

Help us, Help You

The aim is to help everyone stay well over the winter months and the campaign highlights the actions people can take to manage their own health and also get the best out of the NHS.

The basis of the campaign is that there could be some actions and alternatives people should sometimes look at before going to the doctor or A&E.  A few of the key outlines of the new campaign include:

  • Flu jab. The best way to help avoid flu is to have a flu jab. This year the flu programme is bigger than ever with 24 million people in England alone being offered the flu jab. Interestingly older people are being offered a more effective vaccine as part of the programme which is providing 8.5 million doses.
  • 111. For urgent but non life threatening medical conditions, the best number to call is 111. Here a specially trained advisor will tell you the best course of action.
  • Community pharmacies. At the first signs of winter illness or for minor health conditions that do not require a GP appointment, you should visit your local pharmacist who is a qualified healthcare professional. Here you will receive advice and often medication that can help.
  • Extended GP hours. Also be aware that instead of rushing off to A&E for problems that occur outsid the normal daytime hours, today extended GP hours are now available across the country. Appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional are now available in the evenings and at weekends…either at your local practice or at another nearby NHS service.

The NHS say that new research from a recent survey has revealed that 8 out of 10 people believe they are responsible for keeping themselves healthy.  But sometimes we might think we know too much! The research also showed that 8 in 10 agree that too many people visit A&E when they don’t need to, or go to see their GP when they could get the help they needed from a pharmacist.

Around 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million visits to A&E are for self-treatable conditions. While A&E are clearly there for those who need it in an emergency, the NHS campaign reports that alternative services can be better depending on the medical needs.

They say that if other NHS services were used correctly across England, it is estimated that nearly four in ten visits to A&E could be avoided.

Dr Dawn Harper involved in the campaign, says that to ensure  every patient who needs it gets the best care possible, it’s important that the NHS and the public understand each other, and that’s what the  ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign is all about.

“It’s our job to make sure the public are properly informed about the full range of services available to them, and it’s the public’s job to make good use of those services when needed,” she said. “Our hope is that this winter, we can help improve the speed and availability of A&E care for those who truly need it, together.”

To find out more about how you can help the NHS help you this winter, visit nhs.uk/staywell


Back to LaterLife Interest Index


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

 

Latest Articles:

Health food of the month: Goats' meat

Goats' meat

Low in fat and high in protein, it is no wonder that goats’ meat is finally coming onto British menus.

more

AXA Health: How to tell if it’s time for a knee replacement

Having a damaged knee replaced can improve your quality of life dramatically. When you’re weighing up whether now is the right time, talking it through with your doctor should come top of your to-do list. 

more

Get in the flow with Tai Chi

man and woman doing tai chi

Did anyone out there hear of Tai Chi in the 1960s or 1970s? It was really only in the 1990s that this eastern form of martial art really started to take off globally. Now Tai Chi is practiced by an estimated 240 million people worldwide, including thousands here in the UK, and is said to be of enormous benefit especially to older people.

more

Was an alcohol free January worth it?

man drinking alcohol

Dry January is over, but no doubt there will be other ideas for giving up alcohol before the next big event, MacMillan’s Cancer’s “Go Sober for October”, kicks in. But how worthwhile is all this abstinence?

more

Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

Bookmark


Advertise on laterlife.com



LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti