GP joined by Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre Lead and Ambulance Service in recent podcast about winter demands
25 October 2018

GP joined by Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre Lead and Ambulance Service in recent podcast about winter demands

Photographed from left to right: Dr Laura Hill, Clinical Chair of NHS Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group; Claire Poustie, Team Lead, Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre, SCFT; and Mark Buckton, Paramedic and Operations Manager for SECAmb.

GP, Dr Laura Hill, Clinical Chair of NHS Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group, has spoken to Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre Team Lead, Claire Poustie, and Mark Buckton, Operations Manager from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb).

In this recent podcast they discuss a new campaign ‘Help Us Help You’. It discusses ways in which we can all be proactive this winter by ensuring we are aware of all local health services available to us, and when we’re feeling unwell, have an injury or if something is life threatening, we use the right service to best help us.

Claire, who works at the busy Urgent Treatment Centre at Crawley Hospital, provided by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT), and Mark from SECAmb, believe there are a number of ways we can look after ourselves and our loved ones, during the winter months.

Last year across Sussex there were more than 500 people who were admitted into hospital with flu, with a small number of people who died from flu. Flu can hit even the healthiest of us, so it’s important that we all take steps to prevent it, and ensure we keep ourselves and others out of hospital.

Both Claire and Mark agree there are ways in which we can all be proactive this winter – one of them is to ensure that everyone who is eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS gets it as early as possible. They also talk about examples of injuries and illnesses that can be avoided, and instances where people can access more effective help, faster, had they known at the time the most appropriate service to use.

At this time of year health services see the common year-round illnesses and injuries, as well as the huge number of winter illnesses that often hit the most vulnerable people in our communities, such as young children, older people and those living with long-term health conditions.

It’s this extra demand that leads to the intense pressure on our GP practices, ambulance, community and mental health services, and hospitals.

Dr Hill’s advice as a GP is to take steps early to prevent an illness getting worse and ensure you know ahead of time the best course of action to take to get well again.

Below are some top tips to help us keep well this winter:

  • Keep active when you're indoors. Try not to sit still for more than an hour or so – if mobility is an issue go to nhs.uk and search for ‘get active with a disability’ for some useful guides.

  • Wear several layers of light clothes as they trap warm air better than one bulky layer.

  • With warmth in mind it is important that this is maintained both inside and outside. The ideal temperature to heat your home is at least 18C (65F). This simple action can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious problems. See more details online nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/

  • Keep nasty coughs and colds under control with medicines from your pharmacist. Always seek advice from your pharmacist at the first sign of a cough or cold, before it gets more serious.

  • Get your flu jab, as it protects both adults and children at risk of flu. The vaccine is free for at risk groups and you can check your eligibility online at nhs.uk

  • Visit the Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre webpage – it includes conditions they can and can’t treat sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/utc

  • To listen to the full podcast featuring Dr Hill, Claire Poustie and Mark Buckton, visit: https://www.crawleyccg.nhs.uk/news/help-us-help-you-podcast/#.W88ZTqinHcs. If any SCFT colleagues would like to hear what our colelagues Claire has to say, go to: 09:41-11.34 and 14:01-15:00 timings in the podcast.