"Choose health and wellness this Christmastime" – Wirral Globe

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Karen Howell, chief executive of Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, writes for the Globe.
Karen Howell, chief executive of Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, writes for the Globe.
WITH Christmas just days away, we find ourselves asking “Where does the time go?”
2021 does feel like it has flown by and as we reflect on this time last year, in many ways a lot has changed.
Covid-19 vaccinations are the key difference and what an impact they have made and continue to make.
If you haven’t had your vaccinations or booster jab yet, there are lots of opportunities to get protected.
Visit the national booking website via www.nhs.uk or the Wirral CCG website for Covid-19 vaccination walk-in clinics www.wirralccg.nhs.uk.
During winter months we are reminded of the importance of staying well.
We must continue to make our best efforts to look after the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones so that we can all enjoy Christmas and the months ahead as healthily as possible.
There are plenty of things we can do to try and protect ourselves.
Self-care is the first step to staying well this winter, such as keeping active and warm; eating well and staying hydrated; taking up your flu vaccine and ensuring you have over-the-counter medicines in your medicine cabinet to aid self-care at home.
If you do feel unwell, visit your local pharmacist who can give you advice on how to treat minor illnesses. Most local pharmacies have a room where you can discuss issues without being overheard. You can find your local pharmacy and opening times via the NHS website – search ‘find a pharmacy.’
If you have an urgent but not life-threatening medical need, visit NHS 111 online first, rather than going straight to A&E.
There are other options for minor illnesses and injuries, including our Walk-in Centres and Urgent Treatment Centre which are still here for you this winter.
The Walk-in and Urgent Treatment Centres are open for walk-in and pre-bookable attendance slots. To pre-book, please call NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk
You can also contact your GP for non-emergencies for advice or an appointment. GP practices are open and face-to-face appointments remain available to all patients where there is a clinical need.
Christmastime isn’t necessarily a joyful time for everyone and can for some people bring additional challenges.
It’s important to remember that it’s OK not to be OK and help is here for you.
If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, you can call the free mental health crisis line 24/7 on 0800 145 6485. If you experience Domestic Abuse this Christmas, there is someone you can talk to. Call the domestic abuse national 24-hour support line on 0808 2000 247.
Knowing that help is here for you this winter supports you to be proactive and choose well.
Whether that’s caring for yourself at home and consulting your local pharmacist or visiting www.nhs.uk for advice on common winter illnesses or www.wirralinfobank.co.uk to find community services and activities that can support your health and wellbeing.
Likewise, it is so important to stay proactive in reducing the spread of Covid-19.
Please continue to follow the Covid-19 guidance to keep yourself and others safe. Cases will continue to rise unless we control this virus in every way we can.
There is help here for you this winter – as always.
Wishing you a happy, healthy Christmas.
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