How Has Healthcare in Bucks Performed So Far This Winter?
With the Christmas and New Year season well and truly over, Bucks health leaders are taking a look at how well our health services have coped so far and what we should be doing in preparation for the expected cold snap.
Bucks GP Winter Champion, Dr Dal Sahota told us, “Overall, Bucks has had a fairly steady winter in terms of avoiding any major health service problems or outbreaks of illness, which is great news.
“However, with the weather being relatively mild in December and January, we shouldn’t assume that any potential winter health and wellbeing issues are over for the year. As snow and ice becomes more frequent there are still lots of things everyone can do.
“I gave a 93 year old patient her flu jab yesterday whilst she was in the surgery for something else. Unsure where else to book one, she was really pleased to find out that her local pharmacy or the practice nurse could also do it. Getting that flu jab, using local pharmacy advice and calling the NHS 111 service will all help us remain healthy and keep our health services free to cope with any rise in demand”
Bucks System Winter Director Frances Woodroffe agrees. She said: “The #HelpUsHelpYou winter campaign, which we have are publicising locally seems to have really made an impact. “There has been a fantastic focus on working together and forward planning across key health and support services in Bucks to improve patient care and reduce the risk of flu, but nationally we have seen small outbreaks of flu which have caused untold upset and misery. If more people remain flu free it helps us ensure urgent care is provided to the right people in the right way, swiftly and effectively.”
Noel Brown, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health wants to make sure everyone’s ready when more severe weather arrives. “We should all remember to also take extra care when we’re out and about in frosty or icy weather. If you’re going by car then only undertake essential journeys, allowing extra time in case the weather worsens. If you’re out walking then do take care to avoid slipping over and causing yourself an injury. And do keep an eye out for elderly or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours
”For our health partners, winter doesn’t stop at the end of January. In previous years February and March have brought worsening weather and an increased demand for health services. I want to remind everyone what they can do to help themselves, so I really encourage people to take a look at the three key Help Us Help You messages below.’
- Use your local pharmacy– do this when you start to feel unwell, don’t wait.
- Call 111 – get professional advice and direction of where to go for help if you need it.
- GP surgeries now open longer and at weekends – if your surgery is closed for the day you can book via 111.
Working together to serve the county’s healthcare needs are: NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Buckinghamshire County Council, the Red Cross and South Central Ambulance Service.