Monthly Archives: December 2013

Keep calm this winter

Infectious illnesses such as flu and vomiting tend to peak in the winter months and there is an increase in admissions to hospital as a result.  Last winter was particularly difficult so this year we have pulled out all the stops to ensure that local services are well prepared.

For example, we have introduced a rapid response service to support people in their own homes and enable those who need a hospital stay to leave earlier.

Local GPS are monitoring patients who are at greatest risk of ill health and ensuring treatment is provided at an early stage.

James Cook University Hospital has provided an extra 50 beds to deal with winter needs and has introduced a new respiratory service where patients with worsening chest symptoms can be referred quickly.

If you’re over 65, pregnant or have a long-term condition, one of the most important things you can do this winter is have a flu jab.   Children aged between six months and two years of age are also eligible for the flu vaccine.

I’d also like to urge people who feel unwell this winter to ‘keep calm’.  Most normally healthy people with a winter illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999.   Generally, winter bugs can be treated with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medicines that are easily available from your pharmacist.

Can I take this opportunity to wish you all a healthy festive season.


Dr Henry Waters is the Chair of NHS South Tees CCG and a local GP