‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ to combat those common winter illnesses

The NHS in Cumbria is joining forces once again this year to urge Cumbrians to ‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ to combat the usual winter coughs, colds, aches and illnesses that are common in usually healthy people at this time of the year.

A&E units across the county see thousands of patients every single day and with winter fast approaching and services already extremely busy, the NHS in Cumbria is urging people to think about how they use services most appropriately. 

There are many common winter ailments and illnesses now circulating in the community and most are easily treated at home or with advice from a pharmacist – with no need to see a doctor or nurse so keeping valuable appointments open for those who really need them and ease the pressures on busy A&E departments and the ambulance service.

Backed by partner NHS organisations in the region, the campaign will run throughout the Christmas holiday period, traditionally the busiest time of the year for the NHS and targets people who are usually in good health and perhaps wake up one morning feeling under the weather and don’t know what to do.

Dr John Howarth, Director of Service Improvement at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said “During the winter months, the demand for NHS services increases significantly, so it’s crucial that services are available for those most in need and those who can, self-care or visit their local pharmacist.”

Dr David Rogers, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s Medical Director, 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 our 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 accident and emergency 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 or attend A&E – so our message this winter is ‘keep calm’.

“Most ailments can 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.”