How to help us help you this winter
Help Us Help You
Help Us Help You is a national multi-channel campaign, aimed to ease the pressure on NHS urgent care and emergency services.
For the winter months, the campaign will focus on flu, making sure people know how to keep themselves well during the cold weather and to self-treat minor illnesses (e.g. cold/ sore throat), therefore freeing GP and hospital appointments for those who need them most.
What steps can you take to help us help you this winter?
Get your FREE flu vaccination
Don’t put off getting the flu vaccination. If you’re eligible, get it now. It’s free because you need it. The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against unpredictable viruses. It is vital that those eligible have it every year as the vaccine protects against different strains of flu which can change and/or evolve each year.
The flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are:
- Aged over 65 years old
- Living with a long-term health condition
(for example, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, chronic heart disease/failure, Parkinson's disease)
- Living in a residential or nursing home
- Pregnant women
- The main carer of an older or person living with a disability
- Children aged 2 - 8 years old
The flu vaccination and children
Flu can be horrible for little children and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family. For children aged 2 – 8, the flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick nasal spray. If you are a parent or carer of a child aged 2 to 3, contact your GP so they can get the nasal spray. Children in school from Reception to Year 5 can have the flu nasal spray at school.
The flu vaccine can be given at the same time as all routine childhood vaccines.
How do I get the flu vaccine?
The vaccine is most effective if given in October and early November but can still be effective in December and January.
If you fit the above criteria, speak to your GP to book a vaccination appointment and get the best possible protection. Also, those eligible for the free flu vaccination can attend most local pharmacies who will also provide the vaccination if you are over 18.
Know what to do if you’re unwell
The best treatment for most common winter illnesses like the flu, coughs and colds, aches and pains, or an upset stomach is usually self-care.
If you are feeling unwell, the NHS Choices website, www.nhs.uk, has really useful tips. If you’re in doubt about what to do, you can call NHS 111 for fast medical advice or visit your GP.
Please do not go to A&E unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
This may help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia. For more advice on help available on how you can keep warm this winter go to http://www.salford.gov.uk/warmsalford
Food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
The elderly may be more vulnerable to the common cold and winter illnesses and have a higher chance of developing complications, so, when checking on them, the first thing to do is make sure their homes are warm enough – at least 18°C (65F).
Checking they’ve got enough medication at home and whether they’ve been to see their pharmacist to stop any minor conditions getting worse is also very important.
You may also want to help your elderly relatives and neighbours if they have mobility issues by getting their shopping, so that they do not run out of the everyday essentials over the festive period.