NHS Tayside has launched its winter campaign to help members of the public keep well over the coming months.
Tayside’s winter health and wellbeing guru Smarty the Penguin returns to front the ‘Keep Well in Winter’ campaign for the second year. Smarty will be sharing advice with the public about how to look after their own and their family’s health and wellbeing this winter.
Smarty appears in various images as a health ‘spokespenguin’ giving advice on topics including getting the flu jab, looking after yourself at home and warning about wintry weather. Smarty will also be sharing information on where to access the right treatment at the right time over the festive period and the winter months.
Consultant gastroenterologist Dr Elaine Henry, who is clinical lead for winter planning, said, “Winter is a time when people can be affected by seasonal illnesses such as flu, norovirus, and nasty coughs and colds.
“Most people can manage these at home without the need for further treatment but frail and elderly people and those with chronic conditions can become very unwell and often need hospital care. We know that remaining in bed can make people even weaker so our teams work hard to get people back on their feet.
“More people fall and injure themselves during icy spells and GP practices are closed for the holidays. All of these things make winter a very busy time for NHS Tayside. By taking some small steps now, people can make sure they are well prepared and hopefully keep in good health over winter.”
The ‘Keep Well in Winter’ campaign has a dedicated website, www.keepwellinwinter.scot.nhs.uk which is packed with information to help people keep themselves well this winter. Smarty will also be sharing winter messages on NHS Tayside’s social media sites.
The ‘Keep Well in Winter’ website is a one stop shop where people can go for information about how to look after common winter illnesses at home, where to access the best care for their health issue, GP and pharmacy opening times over the festive holidays and tips on staying safe during the party season.
Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Daniel Chandler added, “Winter can be a difficult time for many but there are things we can all do to prepare for when winter illness and bad weather hit.
“For those who are eligible, getting vaccinated against flu is the best defence against this nasty virus. Older people, children and those with health conditions, as well as healthcare staff, should take up the offer of a free vaccination to protect themselves from the effects of flu.
“It’s important that people are aware of where they should go for advice and treatment to make sure they access the most appropriate service, particularly when GP surgeries are closed at weekends and over the festive holidays. Having a supply of over the counter medicines is also a good idea so you can manage minor illnesses at home.”