West Sussex NHS have published the following tips for staying healthy this winter.
1. Have an up-to-date medicine and first aid kit at home.
Many minor injuries and illnesses, such as a headache, sore throat or grazed knee, can be treated at home with recommended medicines and plenty of rest.
Ask your local pharmacist for advice on common illnesses like cold symptoms or skin irritations, and get information on medicines you can have at home for you and your family.
2. Choose the right NHS service.
It is important to know where best to access health care or advice before you need it. You can talk to your pharmacist for free about what you can do at home, seek advice and help from your GP or practice nurse if you do become unwell, or contact NHS Direct 24 hours a day from home for free health advice and information on 0845 4647 or www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
If you are more seriously ill there are a range of services available in West Sussex including Minor Injury Units, an Urgent Treatment Centre and Accident and Emergency.
3. Have a free seasonal flu vaccine.
Thousands of people in West Sussex are eligible for the free seasonal flu jab this winter. Everyone aged 65 and over is routinely offered the jab, as are younger people with long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, serious kidney and liver disease. Carers can also have the free vaccine.
It is important that everyone who can have the vaccine takes the opportunity as flu is not the same as getting a cold. It can seriously affect your health.
4. Know how best to manage your long term condition.
If you have a long-term condition, there are extra things you may need to consider, such as making changes to your diet, different types of exercise or different types of medication you may need to take.
Self care doesn’t mean you get less help from your doctor. When you talk to your GP or nurse about your condition, you may want to discuss some of the things you need to do to stay well. Some of these will be things that you do yourself, including eating healthily, exercising or taking your medicines at the right time.
5. Live a healthy lifestyle.
There are many things we can all do to stay healthy, especially during the winter, including making sure you eat a balanced diet and do regular exercise.
Making lifestyle changes like stopping smoking, losing weight and cutting down on alcohol will also have a positive impact on your health. Free NHS help and support is available across West Sussex.
Find out more about what you can do to look after yourself and your family in NHS West Sussex’s Live Well section.