People living with one or more long term health conditions are the focus of a new NHS Self Care campaign this winter.
The five day campaign, developed by the local NHS, coincides with the National Self Care Week which runs from Monday 13th November until Friday 17th November 2017.
The fourth day of the campaign focuses on encouraging people living with asthma, diabetes, heart problems and those who have suffered a stroke or diagnosed with liver or kidney disease, to heed advice produced by health experts to keep them well - not only throughout winter but for life.
Patients will have access to a whole host of online resources such as factsheets, videos and top tips developed by health partners. Some of those top tips include:
• Get along: You can't beat a warm home and social contact, and people generally are better off with other people. Hobbies, socialising and pets are all great mood boosters and if you know someone else with a chronic illness be a good neighbour.
• Get cooking: You are what you eat so eat fresh food, including plenty of fruit and veg, and obviously don't smoke and go easy on the booze.
• Get active: There is no better drug than exercise. Even a light walk or cycle each day can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing.
• Get protected: get the flu jab if you are eligible.
• Get organised: make a list of the medications you need and ensure they are on repeat prescription so you don’t run out.
• Register for online GP services: you can book appointments online, view blood test results and order repeat prescriptions all at the press of a button. Speak to your GP practice on how to sign up.
• Summary Care Record: this is a short summary of your medical history and it could save your life. It means if you need emergency treatment the health professional treating you will be able to make the best decisions about your care. Ask your GP Practice how you can register.
• Take your medications regularly as instructed by your doctor or nurse and, if they aren’t suiting you or you don’t use them anymore, tell your practice who will book you in for a Medicines Review to make sure you are getting the most appropriate treatment.
• Make sure you have medication at home to treat minor illnesses, stock up your medicine cabinet with treatments for coughs, colds and tummy bugs.
Dr David Shepherd, Leicester City GP, speaking on behalf of the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “Long term conditions can get worse in colder weather. A sudden drop in temperature can affect the lungs making it difficult for people with conditions like asthma to control their breathing. People with diabetes need to be more mindful of their blood sugar levels as we reach for the heartier foods and sugary treats at this time of year. Speak to your GP or nurse if something doesn’t feel right for you. Accessing help and advice early can avoid bigger problems later on which may result in an unwanted trip to hospital.
“Check out the free resources on the Stay Well Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland website. There is a Winter Checklist so people can tick off, step by step the things they need to do to be prepared this winter and most importantly stay well.”
Patients and members of the public can find out more by visiting www.staywell-llr.org.uk and follow the campaign on social media. Search @StayWellLLR for twitter and Stay Well Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland on Facebook. There are videos containing top tips for a healthy winter from our GPs as well as factsheets and useful contacts.