Help Us Help You this Winter
Each winter, there is a big rise in the number of patients in Oldham who visit A&E Departments and make use of ambulance services, placing a strain on these vital emergency services. We’re asking patients to consider if there is a more appropriate alternative before heading to A&E. This will help ensure A&E and ambulance staff are able to provide us with high quality care for serious and life-threatening conditions, when we really need it.
Most of us will suffer from common ailments such as coughs and colds this winter and some of us will have flu. The main symptoms of winter bugs are coughing, sneezing, blocked nose, sore throat, headache and a slight temperature. If these are the only symptoms you have, it's unlikely that your GP will be able to help - in most cases, antibiotics (which are used to treat bacterial infections) aren't necessary.
Preparing for Winter:
The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It's offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
'At risk' groups:
- People aged 65 and over
- Pregnant women
- People with certain conditions such as kidney disease, asthma or heart disease
- Carers and those in care homes
- Frontline health and social care workers
- Children over six months with a long-term health condition
- Two and three year olds and primary school children
For 2020, the flu vaccination programme has been extended and now includes:
- All school year groups up to year 7
- People who were asked by the Government to shield themselves amid the COVID-19 pandemic (members of their household will also be eligible for a free jab).
Once the uptake has been maxmised in the most 'at risk' groups, the hope is to then invite the newly eligible 50 to 64 year olds for vaccination, subject to vaccine supply.
People can get the flu jab at their GP surgery, a pharmacy offering the service or from a midwifery service if they are pregnant. Anyone can get the flu jab, but only people in an 'at risk' group above are entitled to a free jab through the NHS. More information about the flu jab and children's flu jab can be found here.
Pharmacists can give treatment advice for a range of minor illnesses, such as cold and flu symptoms, coughs and upset stomachs and can tell you if you need an appointment with a GP.
You should call 111 when you need advice or medical treatment quickly, and you cannot wait for an appointment to see your doctor.
Depending on the situation, you will:
- Find out what local service can help you
- Be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP
- Get a face-to-face appointment if you need one
- Be told how to get any medicine you need
- Get self-care advice
More information about NHS111 can be found here.
7 Day Access
Evening & weekend appointments are available with GP professionals, wherever you live in Oldham, please visit http://moreGPhours.org.uk to find out about the services in your area or call 0161 934 2827 to book an appointment.
Further advice is available at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Coldsandflu/Pages/Coldsandfluhome.aspx