Online advice for common winter ailments

NHS organisations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have launched a new online resource to help local people manage very minor winter ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throats and sinusitis.
Local figures show that more than 8,000 people in the area visited their GP or local A&E department with a minor illness in December last year alone.

Launched during national Self-Care Week (14-20 November), the new guidance aims to help people tackle common winter conditions with advice from their high street pharmacist and over-the-counter medicines.

Dr Charlie Kenward, Associate Medical Director for Research and Effectiveness at NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, said:

“We want to help educate people on what to do when they get one of these common winter illnesses, either through self-care or getting the right support, in the right place. That’s why we’ve teamed up with local pharmacists and launched a new section of our website to help people with a range of common minor winter illnesses.”

The site includes information and advice on a range of common conditions, with steps on how to manage the condition and when you may need to speak to your local community pharmacist for more tailored advice.

Dr Kenward added:

“Pharmacists are your healthcare experts on the high street. They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses and if they think your symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, they have the right training to make sure you get the help you need.”

Visit our winter illness web pages to find out more.

The webpage has been launched to coincide with Self-Care Week 2022 (14-20 November), which highlights the importance of self-care when it comes to minor illnesses and everyday health.

Throughout the week, NHS organisations will be sharing tips for self-care and wellbeing, ranging from everyday wellbeing practices such as regular exercise and eating well, to ordering repeat prescriptions before the festive season.

Local pharmacists are backing the campaign with social media videos discussing how to self-care for common winter illnesses. They include Bedminster lead pharmacist Ade Williams who said:

“There are three things you can do when it comes to self-care. First one, try and get as much exercise as you can, make sure you move around, go for walks. Second thing to do is to make sure you keep warm; you eat good meals and more importantly keep in touch with your friends and social contacts. And finally, very important to make sure that you always keep your medicines at home in date. You can speak to your pharmacy for guidance and advice on what you need to have, likewise a good first aid kit as well.”