Kettering General Hospital`s running a 12 Days Up to Christmas social media campaign to encourage people to use NHS services wisely.
Bosses are urging residents to use KGH`s facebook and twitter by sharing messages and advice with their family and friends.
The 12 Days Up to Christmas themes are:
Day 1: Monday December 11 – Snow and ice – As Storm Caroline sends temperatures plummeting we offer some tips that will help prevent you becoming an accident statistic including avoiding falls, clearing drives, being a good neighbour, avoiding car problems and staying well at home
Day 2: Tuesday December 12 – Feeling unwell? Ask for some advice – Patients managing long term conditions should consider getting advice from their GP if they are starting to feel unwell in the run-up to Christmas to prevent an unwanted crisis over the festive period.
Day 3: Wednesday December 13 – Get your Flu Jab – for free if you are an at risk group or for £10 from a local pharmacy. Keep yourself – and your family and friends – free of this nasty viral infection that can ruin Christmas (and cause serious illness for people in ‘at risk’ groups.) https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/who-should-have-flu-vaccine.aspx
Day 4: Thursday December 14 – Don’t Bring in the Bugs – Coughs and sneezes do spread diseases. If you have viral symptoms – or have recently had diarrhoea and vomiting within 48 hours – don’t visit friends or relatives at KGH, you could be bringing in bugs to the hospital where patients may be especially vulnerable to them.
Day 5: Friday December 15 – Emergency GP Appointments – If you are very worried about a medical condition – and don’t think it can wait until the morning you can get advice from the Northamptonshire GP Out of Hours Service. The service is available Mondays to Fridays between 6.30pm and 8am, and 24 hours a day on weekends and bank holidays. It is accessed by calling 111 where experienced staff will guide you through the process and arrange an appointment if necessary.
Day 6 – Saturday December 16 – Be a Good Neighbour – Some advice on how to offer help to older people in your local community. They could be actual neighbours, friends or relatives. Practical offers of help could include clearing drives or walkways of ice or snow, checking if they need any shopping when conditions are bad.
Day 7 – Sunday December 17 – Stay Well – Tips on how to stay well this Winter. Keeping the house heated, not letting in cold air at night through windows, investigating insulation, the right clothing, food and maintaining activity.
Day 8 – Monday December 18 – Getting home for Christmas – If your relative is in hospital in the run up to Christmas please support KGH as much as possible to ensure they can come home – or to the place they live in the community – as soon as possible. Even small delays all add up and every extra day in hospital puts pressure on our beds – and for people waiting for admission to a hospital bed from A&E.
Day 9 – Tuesday December 19 – Use your local Pharmacy – Your local pharmacist can give a wide range of advice on how to cope with colds and flu and common illnesses. They also have a lot of experience in supporting people with long-term conditions and can offer other services like flu vaccination. Stock up your medicine cabinet so you are prepared to ready to alleviate any illness at the first sign of trouble.
Day 10 – Wednesday December 20 – Remember to get your prescriptions filled before the Christmas break. Every year in Northamptonshire a lot of problems are caused for hospitals and other health service by people who have run out of their medication over the seasonal period. Be prepared – make sure you have enough to last you.
Day 11 – Thursday December 21 – Appropriate use of A&E – A&E is for accidents and emergencies not anything and everything. Don’t go to A&E with coughs and colds, old injuries, toothache or ‘for a second opinion’. It is for things like serious medical conditions, chest pain, collapse, serious cuts that need stitches and people with fractures.
Day 12 – Friday December 22 – NHS 111 – When and how to use this valuable NHS service if you need urgent help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation. Trained professionals can help you decide if you need to visit A&E, speak to an Out-of-Hours GP or help you to access a local GP. They are often able to reassure you and help you decide what to do next.