This year the NHS in Coventry and Warwickshire is encouraging people to make best use of their new Christmas gadgets to help them look after their health and get professional advice at the touch of a button.
Dr Deryth Stevens, Clinical Lead at NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a GP in Dordon and Polesworth, said: “If you are lucky enough to have received a smart gadget this Christmas use it to look after yourself during the Winter period. Your smartphones, tablet and laptop can help people to manage their health needs, learn more about any illnesses or conditions they have and, should they need the NHS, to choose the right service, first time.”
The NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) can help you make lifestyle changes such as losing weight, stopping smoking or getting fit. It also has lots of information on a wide range of illnesses. You may have been diagnosed with a condition - such as asthma, diabetes or a heart problem - that can’t be cured, but can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. These are called long-term conditions, and around 15 million people - that’s one in three - in England are estimated to have one.
NHS Choices helps you understand more about your diagnosis. There are also short films of people with the same condition as you explaining how they look after themselves. The more you know about your condition, the more confident you are in taking care of yourself. Just go to the website, and search for the name of your condition. All content on the site has been medically approved, and is checked regularly to ensure it’s still accurate.
NHS Choices also has a series of symptom checkers. Answer a series of questions about what symptoms you’re experiencing, and you’ll be given advice on conditions that may be causing concern. The site will also tell you, based on your symptoms, the best course of action to take, whether that’s managing the symptoms yourself right through to going to A&E. In most instances self care is the best option, but this website will give you the confidence that it’s the right thing to do.
LifeCheck (www.nhs.uk/lifecheck) is a free service which gives bespoke advice on changes you can make to improve your health. Questions about age, weight, height and lifestyle help the programme decide what aspects of your lifestyle are good, and where and how improvements can be made.
For more information about local health services in the area, visit www.warwickshirenorthccg.nhs.uk,www.coventryrugbyccg.nhs.uk or www.southwarwickshrieccg.nhs.uk