WEARSIDERS are being urged to keep calm and look after themselves as health bosses launch their annual winter campaign today.
Clinical commissioning groups across the North East are reminding people that many common winter ailments and illnesses are easily treated at home or with advice from a pharmacist, with no need to see a doctor or nurse, keeping appointments open for those really needing them.
Backed by partner organisations in the region, the campaign will run throughout the Christmas holiday period, the busiest time of the year for the National Health Service, and will target people usually in good health but unsure what to do if they suddenly feel under the weather.
Dr Mark Dornan, a spokesman for the region’s 12 commissioning groups, said: “Winter weather means more slips and trips and generally more of us feeling unwell as we spend more time indoors and coughs, colds and other viruses are passed around family, friends and colleagues at work.
“This all adds up to more of us having an accident or becoming unwell with a winter bug, meaning more people want to see their GP, attend an accident-and-emergency unit or call 999.
“However, there is no need to panic as most normally-healthy people with a winter illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999 – so our message this winter is to keep calm.”
“Colds, sore throats, head-aches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.
“By doing this not only are you helping to reduce the spread of winter viruses to other vulnerable patients in NHS waiting rooms – you are also keeping appointments available for people who have serious health conditions that must see a doctor or nurse.”