Give winter illnesses the cold shoulder

Health leaders from NHS Erewash and NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are supporting a national campaign to help people take greater care of themselves and their family this winter.

“Self Care Week” takes place from 17 – 23 November. It aims to help people take care of themselves, and lets them know what’s available to help them look after their health as the cold and flu season begins to take hold. The campaign is being run by the Self Care Forum.

This year's theme is "Self care for life – be healthy this winter" and aims to raise awareness of how many common winter ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throats and fever don't require antibiotics, and that visiting a pharmacy for advice and treatment is often the best course of action.

Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:

“If you do catch a winter ailment such as a cough, cold or sore throat, often your first instinct is to book an appointment with your GP but more often than not over the counter medicines can help with symptom relief and a pharmacist can offer advice if you need it. Many think that antibiotics are the answer but they don’t work on most winter illnesses like colds and flu as these are viral infections.

“Generally, symptoms last longer than most people expect and they begin to worry and that is why it is helpful to know what is normal and what isn’t. Our Choose Well website,, provides a wealth of information about how a large range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.”

Dr Avi Bhatia, Chair of NHS Erewash CCG, said:

“We want to do everything we can to prevent ill health and that is why we support an initiative like “Self Care Week” as it offers excellent advice and guidance on keeping fit and healthy, taking medicines, treating minor ailments and when to seek outside help. For those with a long-term condition, self care is about understanding and managing it better to enhance quality of life. People with a long term condition should prepare for winter by ensuring they don’t run out of medication. Many pharmacists offer repeat prescription services without the need to see the GP.”

Published: 19/11/2014