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Stay well this winter

It may be cold outside but winter needn't be the unhealthiest time of year for you and your family.  There are lots of things we can do to prepare for winter and stay well during the colder months.

Colds and flu in particular are spread from person to person very easily, this can be especially serious for those with health conditions, young children, elderly people and pregnant women.  Flu jabs are therefore essential.

Other common health difficulties during winter include chest infections and problems with breathing, so make sure you help prevent the spread of viruses by staying hygienic – wash your hands and carry anti-bacterial gel or wipes in your bag for when you’re on the move.

From keeping your house warm to protecting yourself from common ailments, find out how to stay healthy this winter on the NHS website.


Winter viruses

While contagious viruses are active year-round, winter is a prime time for norovirus, colds, influenza (flu), and other respiratory illnesses. 

These infections are highly contagious, so we urge people to stay away unless their visit is absolutely essential to help reduce the spread of infection within our hospitals.

Hospitals are full of sick people, many of them frail and elderly, so bringing germs into a hospital is the worst thing you can do.  We have an active programme of infection prevention but we can’t spot visitors who really shouldn’t be here.  Please stay at home if you’re unwell to help aid the wellbeing and recovery of our patients.

Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK.  It's also called the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because it's more common in winter, although you can catch it at any time of the year.  Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days.  Please stay away if you have signs or symptoms of the virus, and do not visit until you have been clear of symptoms for at least 48 hours.

Flu, short for influenza, is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes.  It is a major killer of vulnerable people.  People aged 65 and over and people with long-term health conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease, are particularly at risk.  If you have flu, please stay away until you are better.  The virus is highly infectious and outbreaks can happen quickly.

You can protect yourself, your family, colleagues and other patients by getting yourself vaccinated.  The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.


Help us to help you

Local GPs and healthcare professional have worked with the Vale of York CCG to provide useful information about the flu vaccine and how to self-treat many common illnesses and ailments to help you to stay well this winter.  Visit Help Us Help You to watch and learn.


When to visit an emergency department

An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening Emergency careemergencies, such as:

Less severe injuries can be treated in urgent care centres or minor injuries units.  A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment.

If your GP is closed you can go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111, which will direct you to the best local service.

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If your GP is closed you can go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111, which will direct you to the best local service

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We are asking visitors to help us protect patients from highly contagious winter infections by not visiting friends and relatives in hospital when you have been unwell or in close contact with someone with flu or norovirus.

We are experiencing a high level of norovirus and flu in our hospitals, which has resulted in the closure of wards and bays in order to stop the spread.  Closing wards can help to contain the viruses but visitors can play a huge part and we would ask you to think carefully before paying any non-essential visits at this time.

While viruses are active year-round, winter is a prime time for norovirus, colds and influenza, commonly known as flu.  These infections are highly contagious, so when they are brought into a hospital environment they can easily spread to staff and vulnerable hospital patients.

Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK.  It's also called the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because it's more common in winter, although you can catch it at any time of the year.  Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days.

Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes.  It is a major killer of vulnerable people.  People aged 65 and over and people with long-term health conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease, are particularly at risk.  If you have flu, please stay away until you are better.  The virus is highly infectious and outbreaks can happen quickly.

Please stay away if you have signs or symptoms of either virus, and do not visit until you have been clear of symptoms for at least 48 hours.  If symptoms persist (more than 48 hours), the advice is to phone your GP or NHS 111.