- Before illness strikes: Protect yourself and your family my getting your flu jab, keeping a well-stocked medicines cabinet at home and visiting www.nhs.uk to check your symptoms or find out more about common illnesses.
- If you start to feel unwell: Visit your local pharmacy for help and advice or call NHS 111 who can point you to the best service for you.
- If you have a long-term health condition: If you have a condition that affects your breathing such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) you should note down what symptoms are normal for you. If these symptoms worsen, seek help early from your pharmacist or your GP. Respiratory conditions can worsen very quickly during winter weather and seeking help early can avoid a hospital stay.
- If you need urgent help but it’s not a life-threatening emergency: A&E departments can be very busy over winter and are there to help people with life or limb-threatening emergencies. If you need urgent help but it’s not a life or limb-threatening emergency, call NHS 111 for advice on the best service for you needs.
Dr Tatham said: “When the winter weather sets in and the temperature drops people often find they begin to feel unwell. But there are lots of things we can all do to ensure we avoid illness over the colder months.
“Many common health issues like coughs, colds, runny noses and diarrhoea can be treated at home with medicines available from your local pharmacy without prescription. Keeping a well-stocked medicines cabinet can mean you’re prepared if you do feel unwell.
“Pharmacists are experts in medication and can provide help and advice on many common ailments and you can also check your symptoms by visiting www.nhs.uk.”
An increase in admissions for people with long-term respiratory conditions is common across hospitals in Bradford district and Craven over the winter months and the NHS is also urging those with conditions that affect their breathing to seek help early if their usual symptoms worsen.
Dr Tatham added: “If you have a long-term health condition like asthma or COPD it’s important that you recognise what your normal symptoms are and that you seek help if you notice a change. Getting the right help from your local GP early can often help to avoid a hospital stay.”