Residents in Portsmouth are taking direct action to keep their friends and family healthy in the predicted winter freeze.
Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre has seen an unprecedented demand from its patients about preventative measures such as the flu vaccine and advice on how to stop the spread of illnesses such as norovirus (or ‘winter vomiting’ bug).
The practice, which is run by Portsmouth Health (a consortium of local GPs, Care UK and Ashley House) on behalf of NHS Portsmouth, estimates that around 10% of registered patients from their practice fall into the ‘at-risk’ category, who will be a priority to be offered the flu vaccine. This at risk group includes people over 65, people with long term illnesses (such as diabetes and asthma) people with lowered immunity and pregnant women. Practice staff are urging residents to ensure all friends and family in the at-risk groups are registered at a local practice and have access to the flu vaccine.
To kick start the campaign and tie into International Infection Prevention Week (October 16 – 22), Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre has launched a set of ‘Winter Wellness’ tips, which provide advice on the best ways to stay healthy and stop the spread of germs. The tips are available on the practice’s website http://www.guildhallwalkgp.co.uk/ , and will also be available to patients at the practice reception.
“Last year’s flu outbreak and the prospect of another very cold winter are clearly at the forefront of people’s minds, and the level of enquiries we’ve received about how to keep families healthy is really encouraging,” said Kim Dennis, practice manager, Guildhall Walk Healthcare Centre. “We want to do everything we can to help Portsmouth residents fight winter viruses.”
“Ensuring effective self-care is a very important part of the NHS national Choose Well campaign, which seeks to help people choose the right health services when they need them most. The fact that so many people are taking positive action about flu will really help.
“It is important to remember that antibiotics do not cure or relieve the symptoms of flu, colds or viruses, so maintaining a high level of hygiene is critical. Our tips are simple to put into action, and will help stop the spread of common, but very infectious diseases.”
Click here to read Care UK's tips for infection prevention.