14 December 2017
Supporting your festive physical and mental health
Don’t let the fun and frivolity of the festive season play havoc with your mental and physical wellbeing.
That’s the message from local GPs who are encouraging people to help themselves – and the NHS - by using the most appropriate healthcare option at this very busy time of year.
Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “There are some quick and simple actions you can take which represent the foundations of good winter health care. If you are in an at-risk group make sure you have a flu vaccination. Keep a supply of basic medicines at home so you can deal with minor illness and injury more easily. It shouldn’t cost more than a few pounds to buy the essentials. Remember NHS 111 is available 24/7 and that many pharmacies are open evenings and weekends.”
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This time of year can be busy and stressful for many of us, and the festive season can result in many people feeling isolated and alone. The Wellbeing Service offers a range of support services that could help you if you feel depressed or low and you can refer yourself with no need to see your GP.”
Simon Hallion, Director of Operations at Ipswich Hospital, said: “We are asking local people to help the NHS by only coming to the Emergency Department when they have a real emergency.
“Teams in every corner of the hospital are working very hard to make sure we provide patients with safe, high-quality care and we want our emergency clinicians to be able to focus on the patients who really need their life-saving expertise.”
Helen Beck, chief operating officer at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Like all health and social care systems, we are pulling out all the stops to prepare for winter to ensure we protect the good standards of service that the public have come to expect.
“Together with our fellow NHS trusts, our commissioners, and local councils, we’re asking people to stake simple steps to help us this winter by accessing the right NHS services, at the right time, for their needs.
“For non-urgent healthcare issues local pharmacies are also a great first point of call. Many are open long hours including evenings and weekends and can help deal with conditions like colds, diarrhoea, sprains and strains, or small cuts and bruises. The new NHS 111 Online service offers good help and advice, on top of the free 111 phone service which is available 24/7. Dialling 111 can also link you to an urgent out-of-hours GP appointment.”
Help to keep yourself mentally and physically well: