People living in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire are being urged to do their bit to help the NHS cope with an increase in demand for services this winter.
As the season gets underway and Christmas approaches, health and care leaders from across the region are asking people to do as much as they can to stay healthy to avoid any unnecessary hospital stays at such a busy time.
We can all help ourselves by following some simple advice:
Dr Ian Orpen, a GP based in Bath and chair of B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership’s Clinical Board, said: “As winter gets well and truly under way, health and care services in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire will begin to experience an increase in demand, so the more our residents can do to stay well this winter and help reduce that pressure, the better.
"Taking simple steps such as making sure you have a flu jab, seeing a pharmacist rather than ignoring minor ailments, calling 111 for urgent medical help and ensuring you have a supply of any over the counter medications before the Christmas holidays will really help.
"It’s also important that everyone uses the service that is right for their health and care needs. During the winter, hospitals and A&E departments can get very busy – so calling 111 or visiting your pharmacist or GP can make all the difference in making sure that the NHS works most effectively and hospitals are more easily able to treat those with serious conditions or injuries.”
The winter advice has been issued by the B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (BSW STP) and is part of a new NHS and Public Health England campaign called Help Us Help You.
The campaign aims to help make it easier for the public to understand the things they can do to manage their own health and get the best out of the NHS. By following the expert advice of NHS staff, the public can stay well; prevent an illness getting worse; take the best course of action; and get well again sooner.