Health commissioners from Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are encouraging people this self-care week (14-20 November) to be aware of how they can look after themselves this winter and to examine their options should they become ill.
By keeping fit and healthy, individuals can take control of their own health, manage minor illnesses and effectively manage long-term conditions.
If you do need further help, think carefully and examine your options available across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. Think about using NHS 111 for advice as they can direct you to the appropriate service. Go to your local chemist for advice if you need it, they can offer assistance on minor ailments and common illnesses.
Claire Heneghan, chief nurse of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “It’s important that people know when and how they can treat themselves and when they should seek further advice. By taking simple steps to look after yourself this winter, you can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.”
Dr Robert Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “When it comes to treating minor ailments and illnesses, it’s important to examine your options. You can get plenty of advice from your local chemist as well as on the NHS Choices website. Remember, the accident and emergency departments and ambulance services are for life-threatening conditions. By selecting the right option, you can help the NHS to direct their focus to the patients who need it the most.”
The week compliments the national Stay Well This Winter campaign, encouraging people to look after themselves during the winter months – reminding them to see a pharmacist if they need advice on managing cough or cold symptoms; and for older people, a reminder to keep warm during
the winter months by putting on an extra layer or turning up their heating.
More information on how everyone can use self-care to improve their health and wellbeing is available on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk. And for more information on the national Stay Well This Winter campaign, visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell
Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options
Across the area there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.
For minor ailments and injuries your best route to recover is likely to be self-care. There are a variety of services that can support you to do this:
- Pharmacy Services
Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can help you prepare for many of the common illnesses like coughs and colds.
You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies and dentists in your local area by visiting the NHS.uk website: www.nhs.uk. It also includes a symptom checker.
- NHS 111
When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.
If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.
- Your Local GP
Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. Your GP is available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays.
If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery. If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.
- Patient Access
Patients can also manage their health needs at home using Patient Access which is available on desktop or as a FREE app where you can arrange appointments, order repeat medications and update your personal details.
- GP Out of Hours Service
If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary. It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.
For more information please visit www.examineyouroptions.info