NHS Oldham CCG

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.

Many people could have spoken with a pharmacist for advice and over-the-counter remedies, particularly for minor conditions such as cold and flu symptoms, coughs and upset stomachs. Or you can access the walk-in service at the Integrated Care Centre (http://www.gtdhealthcare.co.uk/practice/lindley-medical-practice-walk-in-centre), which is open daily from 8am - 8pm. Don’t forget that your GP service is available anytime of the day or night-just call your usual surgery number.

Please look after yourself and your family by eating sensibly, stop smoking, drinking in moderation and taking regular exercise.

Further advice is available at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Coldsandflu/Pages/Coldsandfluhome.aspx