The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS) would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year, but also share some tips on how you can help health and care organisations to help you this winter.

There are a number of things you can do to help yourself stay well and avoid a nasty seasonal stay in hospital. Des Breen, South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS Medical Director, says;

“Being poorly or having to stay in hospital over the Christmas period is not what anyone wants but also services are really busy so by taking a few simple steps you can minimise the chances of becoming ill and help us to help you.

“Firstly, if you are 65 or over or you have a long-term health condition you could be eligible for a free flu vaccination, if you haven’t already had it you should enquire with your GP or pharmacist.

“Secondly, if you need repeat prescriptions or need to stock up on over the counter remedies make sure you are not short of anything by stocking up your medicine cabinet.

“As the weather gets colder it’s really important that elderly people especially wrap up warm if they go out and where possible homes should also be heated to at least 18C. Everyone, but especially those who are unsteady on their feet should wear appropriate footwear to avoid those slips and falls and all of us should be looking out for elderly relatives and neighbours during the winter period.”

If you are unsure of which service to use you can call 111 to speak to a trained adviser who will be able to help you access the service which best meets your needs.