Local health and care organisations in Norfolk and Waveney have launched a new “Warm and Well” campaign to help residents stay as well as possible during the cold months ahead.
The campaign encourages Norfolk and Waveney residents to look after their health and wellbeing by preparing for winter illnesses and increase their confidence in knowing how to deal with any illnesses if they do fall ill.
Additionally, the campaign aims to support people to stay warm this winter by raising awareness of the wide range of winter hardship support that is available locally to help them keep warm.
Created in partnership with the local NHS, county councils, district councils and the wider health and care system, the campaign will help people understand how they can best protect their health and support their mental wellbeing during this challenging time.
The Warm and Well campaign promotes some of the essential ways that residents can stay healthy, warm, and well this winter, including:
· Getting their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations
· Encouraging people to make their homes more energy efficient and signposting to the hardship support that is available
· Keeping themselves well this winter by staying warm, keeping active, and keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet so they are prepared for common winter illnesses
· Encouraging use of the NHS 111 service, community pharmacies, Minor Injuries Units, and GP practice services instead of going to A&E
· Supporting people to look after their mental health
A new online portal www.winterwellnorfolkwaveney.co.uk has been created where people will find key information and resources to help them stay warm and well this winter. Residents will be able to find information about topics such as winter hardship resources, information on what types of health services they can access for their health needs, health and wellbeing advice, as well as mental health advice and support services which can be especially important during the challenging winter months.
Health and care leaders are encouraging all residents to make use of these resources to support their health during a challenging winter and help reduce pressure on local health services.
Tricia D’Orsi, Chief Nurse at NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said “We are facing a tough winter as COVID-19 is still with us and the flu virus is circulating. Vaccines are the best protection we have against these serious and deadly illnesses. I encourage everyone to get protected this winter by taking up the COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine, which is now free for people aged over 50 and available at community pharmacies across Norfolk and Waveney.
This winter it is more important than ever that we keep practicing good infection prevention and control measures to help reduce the risk of transmitting and catching viruses. Washing your hands thoroughly with warm soap and water for 20 seconds and using hand sanitiser regularly while out in public will help protect you and those around you from serious winter illnesses.”
Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health at Norfolk County Council, said “During the cold winter months we are more susceptible to respiratory illnesses due to the cold and damp air. With the rising costs of keeping our homes warm it’s more important than ever that families are aware of the support that’s available to them to help heat their homes and take up the support with energy bills they may be eligible for.
Make sure you have the essentials in your medicine cabinet as we head into winter, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, and cold and flu remedies to help you manage common winter illnesses at home. This is important as you can help to prevent more serious illnesses from developing. And for families with young children, the Just One Norfolk website has lots of great advice around managing childhood illnesses.
Councillor Bill Borrett, Chair of Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Partnership, said “This winter residents need more than ever to take practical steps to keep themselves and their families warm and well. The online portal has lots of helpful advice, including the important step of preparing to prevent illnesses in the first instance.
“During periods of cold weather, it’s important that we all look out for our more vulnerable neighbours, family and friends who may need extra support to keep themselves warm. Make plans in advance so they know who they can turn to for support in case they can’t get out. Checking in on them regularly and asking after their health helps provide practical winter support as well as helping them feel connected to the community.”
For more information on the Warm and Well campaign and to access the winter health and wellbeing resources, visit www.winterwellnorfolkwaveney.co.uk.