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Essential guide to
If you are feeling poorly this winter, then you may need
Walk-in centres and minor injuries units offer convenient
medical advice, but you may not need to go to an
access to a range of treatment for minor illnesses and
accident and emergency (A&E) department. You could try
injuries including infections, fractures and lacerations,
one of these other services that may be able to treat you
emergency contraception and advice, stomach upsets,
quicker and provide you with the healthcare you need.
cuts, bruises, burns and strains. Local opening timesmay vary. You will be seen by an experienced nurse,
Self care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses,
ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and
Shropshire Walk-In Health Centre
complaints, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, upset
stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a
01743 273780. Open 8am-8pm every day.
well stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
Malling Health – Wrekin
, Apley Castle, Telford, TF1 6TF.
NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) is a dedicated website where
01952 457414. Open 8am-8pm every day.
you can find up-to-date and expert advice on a rangeof illnesses and complaints, as well as find your nearest
Malling Health – Telford
, 39-41 Sherwood Row,
NHS services, such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists,
walk-in centres and so on. You can also call
(exc Bank Hols), 9am-4pm Sat. Closed Sundays.
The community hospitals in Bridgnorth, Ludlow and
Your local pharmacy can provide confidential, expert
Whitchurch all have a Minor Injuries Unit, as does
advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses
Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt hospital in Oswestry.
and complaints, without having to wait for a GP
Visit www.shropshire.nhs.uk for opening times and
appointment. Check out www.nhs.uk to find your
A&E departments and the 999 ambulance service
Your GP can offer an appointment if you have an
should only be used in a critical or life-threatening
illness or injury that won’t go away. They provide a
situation. Dialling 999 and stating an emergency
range of services by appointment and when absolutely
situation will result in a response vehicle being sent to
essential can make home visits. All GP details can be
your location. A&E departments can be found at both
Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (01743 261000) and the
Princess Royal Hospital in Telford (01952 641222).
If it is out of normal working hours, then you can alsocall Shropdoc on 08444 06 88 88 . Shropdoc providesgeneral medical services when your own surgery isclosed i.e. evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
you feel well, you are at increased risk from flu and
Everyone who is at risk of seasonal flu is encouraged
to protect themselves by getting their free flu jab. The‘at risk’ group also includes, for the first time, all
This year pregnant women are being offered the free
flu jab, and they should contact their GP and makesure that they are protecting themselves and their
Everyone aged 65 and over is routinely offered the jab,
as are younger people with long-term conditions suchas heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, serious
Seasonal flu is a highly infectious illness caused by a virus
kidney and liver disease. Around 15 million people in
and cannot be treated with antibiotics. Every year
the UK have the jab, which must be given annually, as
there are approximately 8,000 seasonal flu related
it is altered each year to match the seasonal flu strains
deaths in the winter months in England and Wales.
If you or any member of your family is concerned about
This year’s flu jab will also include a vaccine to protect
flu and would like to take up the offer of a free jab,
against the H1N1 ‘swine flu’ virus which caused last
then please contact your GP Practice in the first instance.
year’s pandemic. As pregnant women who catchthis strain are at an increased risk of severe diseaseand flu-related hospital admissions, they are includedin the groups who are being offered the free jab.
Flu symptoms hit you suddenly and severely. Theyusually include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles,and you can also get a cough and sore throat at thesame time. It is very different from a common cold.
For some people flu can be dangerous and have a big impact on their health, and that is why it is important that those who are offered the free vaccine,take it up. The flu jab will also help protect the people around them – family, friends and loved ones,
by reducing the spread of flu in the community.
For those under 65 with long term conditions such asdiabetes or heart conditions, remember that even if
Everyone has a part to play in helping to prevent thespread of common winter infections including diarrhoeaand vomiting (sometimes known as Norovirus) andrespiratory viruses.
Hand washing with soap and warm water is the mostimportant thing you can do to help reduce the spreadof infections.
Good respiratory hygiene measures include usingdisposable paper tissues when sneezing, coughing andblowing your nose followed by disposing of any tissuesand then washing your hands.
These simple measures, plus not visiting a patient inhospital if you are unwell yourself, can make a bigdifference and will help protect you, your family andthose around you.
If you are poorly with diarrhoea and vomiting, thenthere are a few simple actions you can take to helpyourself feel better and protect those around you.
• Firstly, remember to drink plenty of fluids as you
• Stay away from work or school etc for 48 hours
• Do not go to A&E, Minor Injuries Units or your
GP Practice, unless you require urgent medical attention for another condition.
If the symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting last longerthan four days, then seek telephone advice from NHSDirect (0845 46 47) or by phoning your GP practice.
Antibiotics are all we have to fight bacteria. When
• Painkillers, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and
antibiotics are widely used in the community, bacteria
aspirin, can bring down your temperature and help
or germs can become used to them. They change so
with aches and pains if you have a cold. But remember
they can survive, making antibiotics less and less effective.
that aspirin shouldn't be given to children under 16 years of age.
So, it is important that we only use antibiotics when
• If you have a stuffy nose, decongestants can help. They
there is no other solution. If we take antibiotics only
reduce the swelling inside your nose so you can breathe
when absolutely necessary, they will still be powerful
more easily. You could also inhale steam with a
when they are needed for serious infections.
decongestant in it which will help clear a blocked nose.
At this time of year, colds and flu are very common.
Remember, if your symptoms last for more than three
These are caused by viruses, not bacteria. So
weeks; you become breathless; have chest pains or
already have a chest complaint, call your GP Practiceor NHS Direct on 0845 464 7.
Your doctor knows when antibiotics are needed and will recommend them, if they are the most suitable course of treatment. Help your doctor to help you, by only taking antibiotics if your doctor prescribes them.
If you are prescribed antibiotics…You should take them as directed by your doctor andpharmacist as this will make the antibiotics fight yourinfection most effectively. It is very important to completethe course, even if your symptoms have gone. This willhelp in our fight against antibiotic resistance.
If you have the symptoms of a cold or flu…Try to rest, eat well, and drink plenty of fluids.
Going to your local pharmacy could save you time andavoid a trip to your doctor. You can get professionaladvice and treatments without an appointment.
There are many medicines that you can buy over-the-counter which will ease your symptoms.
With potential cold snaps on the way, public services
1 Get the flu jab. If you are over 65, have a
are encouraging people across the county to take
long term health condition or are pregnant you
some simple steps to make sure that they keep warm
can get a free flu jab from your GP. Also remember
and keep well as the cold weather draws in.
that coughs and sneezes spread diseases; so everyone should make sure they use a tissue and wash
Cold, especially extreme cold, can be dangerous for
their hands regularly to stop the spread of any
everyone. Even in a normal winter, there are tens of
infection, and to stop any infection being picked up.
thousands of deaths caused by the cold. During an
average winter, 25,000 people die as a result of cold
Heat your home well. By setting your heating to
weather in England and Wales. If it is a colder winter
right temperature (between 18-21 degrees Celsius
than normal, there are on average a further 8,000
or 64-70 degrees Fahrenheit) you can still keep
deaths per degree Celsius below the average temperature.
your home warm and lower your bills. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric
Particular health conditions are more obvious when a
blanket – but never both together.
cold spell takes hold – more people experience chest
3 Eat well. Food is an essential source of energy,
problems – chest infections and breathing problems –
which helps to keep your body warm. Try to make
it also means that there are likely to be more people
sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly
hurting themselves though falls due to icy paths.
These health problems are even more obvious in
4 Look after yourself and others. On cold days try to
higher risk groups, such as those over 60 years old
avoid going outside: however, if you do need to,
and those with certain long-term health conditions.
remember to wrap up warm. If you have an older
This includes adults and younger children who already
neighbour or relative, look out for them during the
have breathing problems including asthma, and those
cold spell to make sure they are safe and well.
who are not able to adequately heat their homethrough financial hardship.
More information about what to do if you are feelingunwell can be found out by either contacting
However, by following some simple suggestions and
NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or by visiting www .nhs.uk
tips, people can help themselves stay healthy duringthis time of year, and can help avoid any unnecessarytrips to hospital.
Walk-in CentreGP/Shropdoc (out of hours)PharmacyNHS DirectSelf-Care
Only use A&E in a critical orlife threatening situation.
If you can read this leaflet but know someone who can’t, please
contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). They can
arrange for the report to be reproduced in a more suitable format
or, if needed, in a different language. You can contact Shropshire
County PALS by calling 0800 032 1107, or Telford and Wrekin
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