‘Feeling under the weather’ team to visit Grantham

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A health team will visit Grantham on Friday to advise people on alternative services to A&E which has come under immense pressure in the town this winter.

Local NHS services are taking part in ‘Feeling Under the Weather?’, a nationwide winter campaign to help raise awareness of alternatives to A&E. The aim is to prevent winter ills ruining the New Year, especially for those over 60 and their carers – and to set them on course for a healthier 2015.

To support free advice available online, South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group has a number of healthcare representatives attending The Isaac Newton Shopping Centre on Friday (January 16), between 10am to 4pm, who will be on hand to provide winter wellbeing advice for people.

The aim is to help those most at risk of cold weather ailments identify their most appropriate care and support when they begin to feel unwell.

The team will be inviting those who come along to take part in a scratch card quiz, aimed at testing their knowledge on maintaining positive health and wellbeing during the winter months. The scratch cards are said to be a fun way to identify where common winter ailments can be identified early and treated, with some surprising results that could help people to avoid lengthy GP or A&E waits this year.

Dr Vindi Bhandal, Chair of NHS South West Lincolnshire CCG, said: “‘Feeling Under the Weather?’ is a national campaign aimed at getting people accessing the right treatment, quickly. We are encouraging the over 60s and their carers to identify their ailments early as minor illness such as colds, flu and chills can quickly develop into something more serious.

“By using the scratch cards, people can discuss their local healthcare options and discover alternative places to receive advice and treatment. We often find that people can look after themselves better before their symptoms become major, once they know what to look out for. The campaign encourages people with winter-related symptoms to act quickly. Cold weather does not necessarily go hand in hand with illness.

“Options should include self care, asking your local pharmacist for advice, calling NHS 111 on your telephone or calling your own GP or surgery. Walk in and Urgent Care Centres for the more serious cases can also be accessed and may offer more appropriate treatment than your local hospital’s A&E can offer.”

About the ‘Under the Weather?’ campaign

The ‘Feeling under the weather?’ campaign aims to reduce pressure on the NHS urgent and emergency care system during the winter of 2014/15. Its focus is to influence changes in public behaviour to help reduce the number of elderly and frail people requiring emergency admissions through urgent and emergency care services, particularly A&E departments, with illnesses that could have been effectively managed through earlier access to health advice and self-care information from community pharmacy services or the NHS Choices website.

The campaign therefore has a clear call to action to seek advice early from a local pharmacist or from www.nhs.uk/asap. The campaign will last until the end of February 2015.

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