Helping you stay #WinterWell
We know there is a challenging winter ahead. With rising costs of living, pressures on the NHS and care services and expected high levels of flu and Covid-19, we are doing all we can to support our communities.
To help you stay well this winter, we are sharing information from a host of our experts to provide advice and support.
Click on the links below to find out more:
Falls can happen to anyone, especially when the weather is colder and wetter. Lisa Sherratt, Head of Health, Safety, Security and Fire at KCHFT has some top tips on what you can do keep safe and not hurt yourself during the winter:
- carry a torch, especially during the evening in case of uneven surfaces
- take care on wet and slippery surfaces – walk slowly with smaller steps
- if there is ice and snow on the ground – keep to gritted pathways
- if out in your car at night, park where there is street lighting
- dry your feet properly when entering buildings
- if you do slip, try not to use your arms to break your fall and if you fall backwards, try to tuck your chin into your chest
- remember, ice and snow mean take it slow.
During the winter months, it is important to stay upright and keep steady on your feet.
Peter Ellis, from the Postural Stability Team is here with some advice and guidance about the different service pathways available at KCHFT and what you can do to help you stay on your feet.
Why not take some time this evening and join in with some chair pilates from the comfort of your own home.
Feeling more confident? There a whole range of exercise videos you can do at home on the NHS YouTube channel.
Did you know, there are more places than an A&E to visit if you need urgent medical help?
Urgent treatment centres (UTC) are run by GP and nurse practitioners and open 365 days a year across Kent and Medway. They can treat a range of non-emergency injuries and illnesses, including:
- falls, sprains, strains and broken bones
- cuts, grazes, burns and animal bites
- allergic reactions and asthma attacks
- colds, flu, ear infections and sinusitis
- bronchitis and strep throat.
If you need to see a medical professional, but don’t need to go to A&E, call 111 and get an appointment booked at an UTC near you.
Do you know what to do if you feel unwell?
Sometimes, you can just treat yourself at home and take painkillers to self-manage your symptoms. Dr Mercia Spare, Chief Nurse in #TeamKCHFT has some advice on things you can do if you cannot self-manage your illness at home, including:
- Visit a pharmacist. If painkillers at home aren’t helping manage your symptoms or pain, see a pharmacist and they may be able to offer some medical guidance and treatments over the counter to help you.
- If your symptoms get worse, you can get an appointment with your GP or call 111 and get an appointment booked in at an urgent treatment centre or minor injury unit near you for medical help and guidance.
- If you are critically unwell and urgently need medical support because your life is in danger, please call 999
Dr Sarah Phillips, Medical Director at #TeamKCHFT has some advice on what you can do to help stay well during the colder, winter months.
Coughs, colds, sneezes and flu are more common this time of year. To help keep well you can:
- keep warm – wear layers of clothes and have your heating on a regular schedule if possible
- eat well – keep to a healthy and balanced diet – lots of vegetables and warm foods will help you
- get your flu jab and covid booster – this will help protect you this winter
- if you need medical advice – contact your GP surgery, call 111 or visit a pharmacist
- only go to A&E or call 999 if there is an emergency.
Did you know, your friendly, local community pharmacist is available to help you with minor injuries and ailments. As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. Listen to our Chief Pharmacist, Ruth Brown talk about how a pharmacist can help you.
This year more than ever we want to find ways to boost our wellbeing. Kate Lucas from the One You Kent Team shares some top tips to keep yourself healthy during winter. A healthy diet, staying hydrated, cutting back on alcohol, staying active, going smokefree, and following the six ways to wellbeing can all help you.
We know that small changes can make a big difference and we offer a free service to help you take the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle
Call 0300 123 1220 for more support from one of One You Kent’s friendly advisers or visit One You Kent for more information.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental health of many of us. Mental health affects our overall health and wellbeing, impacting our quality of life and our ability to work and socialise.
Every Mind Matters can help you discover and share simple steps to achieving good mental health.
Get a free, NHS-approved mind plan by answering five simple questions at www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/
You will get a personalised action plan with practical tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control. You can find other practical resources, including COVID-19 resources, to help people care for their mental wellbeing, plus expert advice and tips.
GP and KCHFT Medical Director Sarah Phillips shares some tips on keeping well this winter including keeping warm and making sure you get your flu jab.
If you become unwell, seek advice from your pharmacist, GP or call 111.
Stay warm and keep an eye on those who might need extra help. Check out the links below for more information:
- get a flu jab - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
- see your pharmacist - https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/pharmacy/find-a-pharmacy
- had COVID-19 and still coughing? https://www.kentcht.nhs.uk/leaflet/supporting-you-to-recover-after-covid-19-managing-your-cough-and-clearing-your-chest/
We are discovering more about Covid and the long-term effects as time goes on. It’s normal for ongoing symptoms to last for several months after you had COVID-19. Recovering after COVID-19 may take time and the length of time varies from person to person. It’s important not to compare yourself to others.
Clinical Lead Physiotherapist Kate Savage joins us to explain more about long-COVID and the support available to help you recover.
We have a whole range of leaflets available to support you recovering from having COVID-19. Check them out on our website here:
- Getting active after COVID-19
- Quit smoking after COVID-19
- Food and diet after COVID-19
- Communication and changes to your voice after COVID-19
- The emotional impact of having COVID-19
- Tiredness and fatigue after having COVID-19
- Managing your cough and clearing your chest after COVID-19
- Managing your breathing after COVID-19
- Supporting you to recover after long Covid
During the winter it can be cold and gloomy, there is a range of fun exercises that children can do at home available on youtube.
Why not check out the videos by The Body Coach, Joe Wicks?
Or if exercise isn’t your thing, check out these fun rainy-day activities from Change 4 Life that you can do with children from the comfort of your own home.
We know how it can seem that one winter bug follows another when you have children. This year, more than ever, we want to find ways to boost their winter wellness. Rachel Hawkett from the Kent School Health Team joins us today to give some top tips to help your child to keep healthy this winter.
Call 0800 0113 474 or visit School Health for more support, local information and resources to help support your child stay mentally and physically well this winter.
Self-care starts at home – keep a well-stocked medicine cupboard. Antibiotics are not needed to treat the common cold but remedies from your pharmacy may help.
Speak to your friendly local pharmacist for expert advice on how to treat a range of minor illnesses this winter. Pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge and can advise you on what medicines you need for rashes, aches or pains for the whole family.
Unfortunately, cold and winter bugs are unavoidable but there are things you can do to help yourself, and your family, stay healthy this winter:
- follow good hand hygiene
- stay hydrated
- eat a balanced diet
- sleep well
- and get outdoors in the fresh air.
The most important advice for self-care this winter is to get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19. Find out more about how and where you can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Kent and Medway.
Find out more about the flu jab.
Getting older doesn’t mean losing your independence. John Norley from Age UK in Medway is here sharing some information about what clubs, opportunities and services are available across Kent and Medway to help you keep active, make friends and get advice, including:
- day clubs
- activity groups
- meal services
- dinner clubs.
We’re delighted to share a video from Mark Anderson, Head of Learning Disability Services at KCHFT, with some guidance and top tips on what you can do to stay independent during the winter months:
- Don’t forget you are entitled to a free annual health check every year. Speak to your GP to book this in or your learning disability nurse can also support you with this.
- It’s important to also have your flu vaccination, you can speak to your GP or learning disability nurse about this. There is some more information on our website for you.
- If you feel poorly, you can speak to your LD Nurse, GP or a family member or carer. A pharmacist might also be able to help with what medicines may make you feel better. You can also call 111 for some advice.
- Make sure you dress in warm clothes in winter, there is a fun game on our website where you can cut out and dress a picture in some nice warm clothes!
- Stay connected with your friends and family! If it’s cold and raining and you don’t fancy going outside you can use technology to stay in contact with people you love and care about. Why not video call them, have a chat on the phone or use social media?
- If you do go out;
- make sure you wear bright and warm clothes
- stick to busy and well-lit places
- plan your route
- if you have a mobile, make sure it’s fully charged
- make sure you have enough money on you for your journey.
You can always ask for help or for someone to come with you if you are anxious about going out alone.
There are lots of useful links available to help find medical or community support for yourself, a loved one, a neighbour or someone you help support, including:
- get medical advice and help online
- find your nearest pharmacy
- help to get support an elderly person
- support and resources available for people with a learning disability
- support and guidance if you live in Kent
- need help and don’t have a support network? Try the Good Sam app
- find a community group near you.
Looking out for each other is a great way to help keep the people around you well during the winter months. We each can play an important role in our community and neighbourhood.
It’s important to check-in on your neighbours, especially if they are elderly or isolated. Here’s some things you can do if you know of someone who may struggle this winter:
- If bad weather has been forecast, offer to help your neighbour with their shopping to reduce the need for them to leave the house in the bad weather.
- Bring a warm meal round when you can or make a warm drink for them when you pop over.
- If you notice you haven’t seen a neighbour for a few days, just knock on the door to say hello – you never know they may be in trouble and need some help.
- Make sure you have their number or a family member's number, and make sure they have a list of emergency numbers (including utility companies) if they ever feel worried or feel unwell during winter.
- If you ever have a worry or concern about a neighbour you can call 101 and request a welfare check.
Dr Dan Wright, Head of Sustainability at #TeamKCHFT has some top tips on what you can do to help make sure your house is warmer during the colder months while keeping bills low and making sure you can stay healthy this winter.
Watch the video now to find out more and you can use this link for more information on saving energy including technology available and financial support that may be available.
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