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The Stay Well This Winter campaign goes on the road today as it drives home vital messages to the public.
The campaign is aimed at helping people prepare against the onset of winter and to raise awareness among those in key risk groups – such as the frail and elderly and those with long term conditions and respiratory illnesses.
Five teams will be highlighting the campaign at shopping centres throughout the country over the course of the next five weeks and telling people how they can best ward off common cold weather-related illnesses.
A joint NHS England and Public Health England initiative, Stay Well This Winter, was officially launched last month and is supported by a national TV, press and digital campaign.
The roadshows kick off today and will appear for two days at Wallsend in Newcastle, Salford in Manchester, Hinckley in Leicestershire, Bishops Stortford and Norwich. Over the course of the next five weeks each show will move around the regions visiting around 67 sites nationwide in total.
The Stay Well This Winter campaign began last month with a national flu vaccination programme for children. This year the programme is being extended to children in school years 1 and 2, and aims to help three million children between the ages of 2 and 6. For the first time, the youngest primary school children in 17,000 schools will be eligible to receive the free nasal spray vaccine, making this the largest school-based vaccination programme ever in England.
At the roadshow events, expert advice and support will be provided from the roadshow nurse and staff. In addition, leaflets and posters will inform the public about some of the key actions which will help them stay well this winter including:
- Making sure you get the flu jab if eligible
- Keeping yourself warm – heat your home to least 18 degrees C (or 65F) if you can
- If you start to feel unwell, even if it’s just a cough or a cold, then get help from your pharmacist quickly before it gets more serious
- Making sure you get your prescription medicines before pharmacies close on Christmas Eve
- Always taking prescribed medicines as directed
Keith Willett, National Director for Acute Care for NHS England said: “Through the Stay Well This Winter roadshows, we are making sure we give people the information they need to help them to look after themselves and also to know where to go for urgent advice – whether it’s pharmacies, NHS Choices, NHS111 or A&E.”
Professor Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director at Public Health England added: “The Stay Well This Winter roadshow is a great opportunity for people to familiarise themselves with the steps they can take to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours over the colder months. The roadshow events will offer advice and information about the precautions people can take against winter and a nurse will be available to answer any more specific questions that people may have. We’d urge people from the local community to attend to find out more.”