“Self-care for life” – come and speak to health partners in Berkshire West at engagement event in Reading

To mark Self Care Week 2015 (16 – 22 November) health partners across Berkshire West will be providing information on how to stay well this winter in the Broad Street Mall, Reading.

On Thursday (19/11) and Friday (20/11) between 9am and 5pm, representatives from the Berkshire West CCGs, Royal Berkshire Hospital and Berkshire Health NHS Foundation Trust will be outside TK Maxx on the ground floor providing tips on how you can self-care to prevent becoming ill over the winter months.

Andy Ciecierski, Chair of North & West Reading CCG said: “The weather is starting to get colder and we are getting into the winter months so it is important that people take action now to self-care and do certain things to prevent themselves from becoming unwell.”

Remember this winter to:

Warm – Keep your house warm this winter
Immunisations – Get your flu vaccination
Neighbours – Keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives
Timely – Seek advice from a pharmacist at first sign of illness
Enough – Pick up repeat prescriptions so you have enough while pharmacies/surgeries are closed
Restock – Make sure you have enough food and medicine in the cupboard

It is also important to choose well when accessing local health services, so that everyone can get the best out of the NHS.

There might even be something you can do for yourself first, especially when it comes to minor ailments or injuries such as, colic, flu, sprains or strains.

Caroline Ainslie, director of nursing at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust said: “Most people are very capable of looking after themselves most of the time, self-treating when it’s safe and knowing where and when to seek help when they need it. However, each year, across the country, there are 3.7m visits to A&E for self-treatable conditions such as flu, colic and sprains which adds to pressure in the health system.

“Before you visit A&E, remember what it’s there for. It provides vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.

“If you have a cold, flu or sore throat, ask yourself, “do I want to spend 4 hours in A&E or should I call NHS 111, look-up NHS Choices or ask the pharmacist first?”

Helen Mackenzie, Berkshire Healthcare’s Director of Nursing and Governance, said, “The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu, and we are vaccinating all school children in years 1 and 2 across Berkshire.

“It’s important to protect your little ones from flu and the vaccination is available free on the NHS. Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children as they suffer the same symptoms as adults including fever, chills and aching muscles.”

Invest in your NHS, and your health, practice Self Care for Life during Self Care Week and always.

Notes to editors:

  1. Dr Andy Ciecierski, Chair of North & West Reading CCG, is available for photos / interviews at the event at 3pm on Thursday 19 November outside TK Maxx on the ground floor, Broad Street Mall. To arrange please contact Kulbir Sandhu, Communications and Engagement Manager, NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit, on 0118 9822785 / 07785 338845.
  2. Self Care Week takes place 16-22 November 2015 and has the theme “Self care for life.”
  3.  Self Care Week is a yearly campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of self care and what people can do to take better care of their own health and their family’s health. The point of the campaign is to promote and encourage more self care across communities, families and generations.
  4. Information Resources:
    www.selfcareforum.org/fact-sheets (Self Care Forum fact sheets)
    www.treatyourselfbetter.co.uk (Treat Yourself Better website)
    www.nhs.uk/Planners/Yourhealth/Pages/self-care-week-2015.aspx NHS Choices)
    http://antibioticguardian.com (Antibiotics Guardian)
    www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/target-antibiotics-toolkit/patient-information-leaflets.aspx (Antibiotics Awareness)
    www.nhs.uk/staywell (Stay Well this Winter campaign)
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