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Health feature

Dr Carl Ellson - Winter planning

23 October 2017

My last column focussed on encouraging people who are in ‘at risk’ groups to help protect themselves from flu by getting a flu jab. This focus comes as part of the national Stay Well This Winter campaign, which launched last week, aimed at supporting people to look after their health when the weather turns colder.

This year, NHS South Worcestershire CCG will again be supporting the national campaign, but we’re also doing a lot of work locally to help meet capacity and demand needs across Worcestershire over the winter months.

This work includes, the implementation of a new falls pathway, which was launched on Monday 2 October. This new pathway has been designed to offer an improved, less complicated process, with the aim of reducing the risk of falling and fracturing for patients.

A pilot winter frailty unit also launched last week at the Alexander Hospital in Redditch. The aim of the unit is to provide timely and prompt frailty assessment, followed by evidence-based interventions as soon as possible for frail elderly patients.

As well as the new measures that are now available, a countywide GP visiting service is aiming to be launched in November along with patient care streaming at the front door of A&E at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

As ever, I’d continue to encourage people to know what health services are available to them. Emergency departments can be extremely busy during the winter period, so I’d urge patients to remember that A&E is for serious and life threatening emergencies only.

Many minor complaints such as coughs and colds can be treated by staying at home, getting plenty of rest and making sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

Your local pharmacist can give expert, confidential advice or medicines for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, tummy troubles and much more.
You can call 111, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for fast medical advice when it's not an emergency and Minor Injury Units (MIUs) offer fast, convenient and expert care for minor conditions including cuts, grazes, sprains and burns.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell