As the cold weather persists, local health leaders in Warwickshire are encouraging people to both look after themselves and choose the right service for advice and treatment. Our local hospitals have seen many patients attending A&E for flu and cold symptoms over the festive period, when the best remedy if you have flu is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Research shows that the very young and older people are the main age groups visiting A&E, when flu symptoms could be prevented with the vaccine. In Warwickshire one in three people are entitled to a free flu vaccination. If you’ve not already had a flu vaccination, contact your GP surgery today to arrange to see your practice nurse.
The trend for flu vaccination is decreasing across Coventry and Warwickshire for the over 65s, with a 3% decrease for Warwickshire North in 2015/16, 3.4% decrease for South Warwickshire, and 3.1% reduction in Coventry and Rugby compared to 2014/15. The size of this group, and the particular impact which they have on hospital A&E services means that halting the decline and achieving an increase in vaccination rate would have the greatest overall impact on reducing hospital presentations and admissions relating to flu in the area.
Dr David Spraggett said: “The flu vaccination reduces risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk. Remember that vaccinations are still on offer and your GP surgery. In Warwickshire GP appointments are also available if your symptoms persists, particularly if you're 65 years of age, pregnant or have a long-term medical condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or kidney disease. Remember that your pharmacist can also help give you advice on colds and flu and if you are concerned you can call NHS 111, 24 hours a day.”