A campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the various ways people can help to look after their own health to try to avoid a hospital stay this Christmas.
The ‘Stay at home for Christmas’ campaign has been developed by Warwickshire County Council, as part of the ‘Warwickshire Cares – Better Together’ initiative, especially for this time of year when ‘Winter pressures’, such as colds and flu, mean that people need to take extra care of their health – so that those who need acute or emergency health and social care support can get the help they need at the right time and in the right place.
The campaign raises awareness of preventative measures people can take to help keep well and avoid a hospital stay, such as:
- Making sure your home is kept warm, at least 18 degrees
- Making sure your repeat prescriptions are filled in advance – many surgeries and pharmacies close over Christmas
- Finishing your course of antibiotics, if you’ve been prescribed them by your GP
- Seeking help and advice from your pharmacy straight away if you feel ill
- Getting self-care advice and information on the right NHS services for you www.nhs.uk/staywell
- Getting a flu jab – they are free if you are over 65 or have a long-term health condition
- Eating regular balanced meals and having a warm drink at specific times during the day to stay hydrated
Much more information and advice can be found on the NHS Stay Well website, www.nhs.uk/staywell.
Another campaign, ‘Out of hospital for Christmas’, aimed at health and social care staff, has been launched alongside the public campaign to raise awareness of the various initiatives that are available to help them with this year’s ‘Winter pressures’, such as:
Two new Care Homes Trusted Assessors who are now in post to help patients get discharged safely from hospital and into care homes
An online NHS bed availability tool that is now being used in Warwickshire to speed up the process of finding a care home or ‘moving on’ bed
The Hospital to Home service provided by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, which is there to help A&E patients who are medically fit to go home but who need transport and help to settle in
Warwickshire County Councillor Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “We’re now in the ‘Winter Pressure’ time of year where we must all work together to ensure that people in Warwickshire are receiving the right support at the right time in the right place.
“This particularly relates to helping keep people healthy at home and out of hospital, and safely discharging people from hospital in a timely fashion, during a period where there are extra pressures on the health and social care system.
“I hope people will use this information to help keep themselves well over the Christmas period and that it raises awareness among health and social care staff of the initiatives we’ve put in place, working with our partners, to safely discharge people from hospital.
“We’ve already seen great results with Delayed Transfers of Care (DToCs) in Warwickshire over the summer, with a 63% reduction in the number of DToCs between June last year and June this year, which meant that 63% fewer hospital beds were occupied by delayed patients.”
‘Warwickshire Cares – Better Together’ is Warwickshire’s programme for the delivery of the national Better Care Fund, government funding specifically targeted at NHS and social care integration.