Bucks healthcare services report a steady winter so far
Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust has reported that its health services performed well over the winter.
The organisation also took the opportunity to reinforce the messages of its winter campaign ahead of more forecast bad weather.
Throughout the winter period the county's healthcare services have been running the “Help Us Help You” winter campaign which has three key messages:
> Use your local pharmacy – when you start to feel unwell, don't wait.
> Call 111 – get professional advice and direction of where to go for help if you need it.
> GP surgeries are now open longer at weekends – if your surgery is closed for the day you can book via 111.
In terms of illnesses, the service has reported that this winter has been within expected limits.
Dr Dal Sahota, Bucks GP winter champion said: “Overall, Bucks has had a fairly steady winter in terms of avoiding any major health service problems or outbreaks of illness, which is great news.”
Addressing the fact that winter is not over yet and given the fact that more bad weather is expected Dr Sahota said: “With the weather being relatively mild in December and January, we shouldn't assume that any potential winter health and wellbeing issues are over for the year.
"As snow and ice becomes more frequent there are still lots of things everyone can do.”
Flu jabs are very important at this time of year and the healthcare trust say that often people overlook such things.
Dr Sahota said: "I gave a 93 year old patient her flu jab yesterday while she was in surgery for something else.
"Unsure of where else to book one, she was really pleased to find out that her local pharmacy or the practice nurse could also do it.
"Getting that flu jab and, using local pharmacy advice and calling the NHS 111 service will all help us remain healthy and keep our health services free to cope with any rise in demand.”
Frances Woodroffe, Bucks system winter director said: “The Help Us Help You winter campaign, which we have been publicising locally seems to have really made an impact.
“There has been a fantastic focus on working together and forward planning across key health and support services in Bucks to improve patient care and reduce the risk of flu, but nationally we have seen small outbreaks of flu which have caused untold upset and misery.
"If more people remain flu free it helps us ensure urgent care is provided to the right people in the right way, swiftly and effectively.”
Cabinet member for communities and public health Noel Brown wants to make sure that everyone is prepared for when more severe weather arrives saying: “We should all remember to also take extra care when we’re out and about in frosty or icy weather.
"If you’re going by car then only undertake essential journeys, allowing extra time in case the weather worsens.
"If you’re out walking then do take care to avoid slipping over and causing yourself an injury and do keep an eye out for elderly or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours.
”For our health partners, winter doesn’t stop at the end of January.
"In previous years February and March have brought worsening weather and an increased demand for health services."