People are being urged to have a personal winter plan so they are prepared when they start to feel unwell with a cough, cold or flu.

Health and social care organisations across Oxfordshire – including Oxford Health, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford University Hospitals Trust and South Central Ambulance Service – are again working together this winter to encourage everyone to stay well by taking practical steps.

Dr Kiren Collison, Clinical Lead at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We’d like everyone in Oxfordshire to have a winter plan for themselves and their family so they know what they need to do to remain healthy.”

Kiren added: “Having a flu vaccination if you are eligible, washing your hands after being out and not missing your normal regular medications can help prevent illness.

“If you do fall ill, a well-stocked medicine cabinet and advice from your local pharmacist or NHS 111 can help. NHS 111 can now be accessed online via a mobile phone, tablet or laptop to get advice even quicker at NHS.111.UK.

“Obviously there will be times when people become seriously unwell and seeing a healthcare professional is the right thing to do. But by taking a few simple steps and putting together your winter plan you may help yourself to avoid admission to hospital.”

Personal winter plans should include:
•        Having a free NHS flu vaccination if you are eligible
•        Getting help early before your condition worsens
•        Getting repeat  prescriptions in plenty of time before bank holidays
•        Finding out where your local minor injuries unit is located
•        Seeking advice from your local pharmacist
•        Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet
•        Stocking up on winter food supplies
•        Getting your boiler serviced
•        Keeping your home heated to 18C
•        Having a list of emergency phone numbers handy by your phone
•        Keeping an eye on elderly or frail friends, neighbours and relatives

For further advice and to watch a short video on how pharmacists can help you stay
well this winter visit: https://www.oxfordshireccg.nhs.uk/your-health/winter-response.htm

People can read the Public Health England leaflet ‘Keep Warm Keep Well’ which provides advice on staying well in cold weather and covers issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle, flu jabs and heating: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keep-warm-keep-well-leaflet-gives-advice-on-staying-healthy-in-cold-weather