#StayWellThisWinter campaign launched across the South East

#StayWellThisWinter campaign launched across the South East

A campaign to help people with long-term respiratory conditions stay well this winter, and to reduce non-Covid-19 respiratory infections for a second year running, has been launched across the South East of England.

#StayWellThisWinter is encouraging those more at risk from winter respiratory infections to think about how to protect themselves, friends, and family this winter. This campaign is driven by the voices of patients who know how important this is – click here.

Last winter, the South East saw the usual winter respiratory infections decrease due to the restrictions that were in place last year encouraging people to wear face masks in public spaces, practice social distancing and participate in regular hand washing.

Top tips include:

  • Wear a face mask
  • Social distance
  • Hand wash
  • Covid-19 vaccination and flu jab
  • Have shopping delivered to avoid crowds
  • Eat well and stay active
  • Regular hot drinks
  • Friends and family are unwell – see them when they have recovered
  • See people outdoors if you can
  • Get help from family/neighbours
  • Make sure you have enough supplies of medication
  • Keep an up to date first aid kit
  • Exercise your mind

Dr Richard Russell, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Clinical Lead for NHSE/I South East Respiratory Network, said: “Staying well this winter has never been more important. We all need to consider how we protect ourselves from respiratory infections: face masks, social distance and hand washing all work.

“Making sure that you are up to date with your flu and Covid-19 booster vaccinations is another way of protecting yourself.

“Keeping your friends and family well this winter is also important, especially if they have any respiratory disease. So please, follow the simple steps that feature as part of our campaign to #StayWellThisWinter.”

He added: “On average each winter, we typically see 4,500 extra emergency respiratory hospital admissions for people aged 65+ in the peak month of January alone, compared to September which is usually the lowest month for respiratory infections and admissions.  However, last January, in this age group, we actually saw 5,500 fewer emergency admissions because of the social distancing step people took.”

Nationally, respiratory disease affects one in five people and is the third biggest cause of death in England (after cancer and cardiovascular disease) and is a major factor in winter pressures faced by the NHS.

To support the 12-week campaign, a short video capturing real-life accounts from patients with lung disease living in the South East has been created to help others like them stay well this winter. Click here.

For more information about the campaign, please visit www.southeastclinicalnetworks.nhs.uk/staywell/

Published: 21 December 2021