NHS Bassetlaw CCG - Protect yourself, your family and friends from flu this winter
Doctors in Bassetlaw are urging people to take action and protect themselves against flu in a bid to cut the number of admissions to hospital this year. Every winter hundreds of people in Bassetlaw are hospitalised because of flu, putting undue strain on already over stretched services in accident and emergency and beyond.
Protect yourself, your family and friends from flu this winter!
The flu virus spreads from person-to-person, even amongst those not showing any symptoms. Unvaccinated, asymptomatic patients may unknowingly pass on the virus to vulnerable patients, friends, family and colleagues.
This is anything but a typical year, due to the potential impact of flu and COVID-19 circulating at the same time, for all those eligible for a free vaccination against flu are urged to take it up as soon as possible.
This year, to keep people safe, the offer of the flu jab has been extended free of charge to individuals who have a high risk of catching flu, such as those aged 65 years or over, pregnant women and those with long term health problems such as diabetes, lung, kidney or heart disease.
Individuals who are eligible for a free flu jab may have received a letter from their GP encouraging them to visit their surgery in order to get protected. If you have not already responded to that letter or have not received one but you are in one of groups mentioned above it is not too late to protect yourself against the flu.
Dr Eric Kelly, GP and Chair at NHS Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “If you are in one of these at risk groups and haven’t yet had the flu jab then please contact your GP for advice. It is really important that people get the vaccine as it will help them to stay fit and well during the winter months. Flu can cause severe health complications and unfortunately it kills many people every year. The flu vaccine is the best defence we have against the spread of flu. We can all play our part and take this easy but important step to protect people we know and care for”.
Cllr Sue Shaw the Cabinet Member for Health and Community Well-being said “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people may be worried about being able to receive their flu vaccination safely this autumn.
Bassetlaw health services have taken careful steps to ensure everyone receiving services are kept safe, including those receiving the flu vaccination. More information about how to access services can be found on local GP practice websites. Local practices will also be in touch with those who are eligible for vaccinations.
It is more important now than ever that people who are eligible take up the offer of having a flu jab. The flu vaccination is one more way that people can look after themselves and keep themselves as healthy as possible, especially those most vulnerable or those with underlying health conditions”.
This advice comes as the NHS Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group launches a campaign to encourage people to choose the right health service this winter. There are many options available such as self-care, visiting your doctor, pharmacist and NHS 111- a free to call service for when people need help fast but it is not an emergency. With emergency services and Accident and Emergency under extreme pressure in winter the message to residents is to think carefully about where to go for treatment.
If you are in one of the at risk groups and have not yet had your free flu vaccination, call your GP or speak to a pharmacist to book an appointment.