Torbay Council is in great support of this year’s campaign to help the elderly over the winter period.

NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign will urge people over 65 or those with long-term health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease or respiratory illness, to prepare for winter with advice on how to ward off common illnesses.

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The NHS ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign urges the public to:

  • Make sure you get your flu jab if eligible.
  • Keep yourself warm - heat your home to least 18 degrees C or (65F) if you can.
  • If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or a cold, then get help from your pharmacist quickly before it gets more serious.
  • Make sure you get your prescription medicines before pharmacies close on Christmas Eve.
  • Always take your prescribed medicines as directed.
  • Look out for other people who may need a bit of extra help over winter.

Deputy Mayor and Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Derek Mills said: “Winter is an incredibly difficult time for those most vulnerable in our society”

 “I urge you to try and help the older community by looking out for them and ensuring they are staying healthy.”

Commenting on the ‘Stay Well This Winter’ campaign, Keith Willett, National Director for Acute Care for NHS England said: “We are making sure we give people the information they need to help them to look after themselves and also to know where to go for urgent advice - whether it's pharmacies, NHS Choices, NHS111 or A&E.

“It’s also critical we do what we can to help others stay well. The elderly compose the largest group admitted to hospital in the winter. Half live alone and one third never or only occasionally socialise with family or friends. They, as a result are slow to seek help, and once ill often get too unwell. This is a golden opportunity for us to look out for our neighbours and ensure they get any help they need.”

The NHS has strengthened planning for winter this year with work starting earlier than ever before. Funding was provided to local health systems via Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in April, and for the first time included in their baseline allocation, to ensure local urgent and emergency care and planned services are sustainable year round.

To improve services for the public over the longer term, the NHS is also forging on with implementing the urgent care review, redesigning the urgent care system to reduce the rise in emergency admissions that have put pressures on hospitals and ensuring the public can get the right care, in the right place, every day of the week.

Eight areas across the country are trailblazing new approaches to improve the coordination of urgent and emergency care services and work is underway to bring NHS 111 and General Practice Out of Hours services closer together to provide patients with a “new front door” to urgent health care services.

The new service will offer patients improved access to a new 24/7 urgent clinical assessment, advice and treatment service – bringing together NHS 111, GP out of hours and clinical advice.

Public Health England is also publishing its Cold Weather Plan today which further aims to help people stay well this winter.

Professor Cosford at Public Health England said:  “In colder weather, keeping yourself warm is essential to staying healthy, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic illness. There are a range of health problems associated with cold housing and winter weather, but in particular, a cold indoor or outdoor environment can make heart and respiratory problems worse, and can be fatal. This is why our Cold Weather Plan, published today, sets out a series of actions that health and social care organisations, voluntary groups, and individuals can take and plan for cold temperatures to help reduce cold-related illnesses and deaths.”


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