Every winter, we see an increase in the number of people needing to be admitted to hospital.
Among the elderly and the most vulnerable, minor respiratory illness, such as the common cold, can prompt care needs that impact on their frailty and those with existing chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD are particularly vulnerable.
The cold weather and viral infections such as coronavirus and the flu often leads to deterioration with patients needing more care and support than usual.
Coronavirus and flu are highly infectious and spread rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the virus. Some groups such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly and those who have existing medical conditions are particularly vulnerable and because it is caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t help.
So if you know someone who is frail or elderly or has an existing health problem and they are feeling unwell, encourage them to seek early advice, go to their local pharmacy or phone their local practice before the issue escalates and they end up in hospital.
Doncaster local practices are OPEN and have been open throughout the pandemic. Many practices have adapted their consultation process to keep staff and patients safe from the spread of coronavirus by offering telephone and video appointments. However, if you need to be seen by a health professional, you will be.
During the winter, local practices can be very busy and you may have to wait on hold longer than we would like to get through to speak with a care navigator. Please be patient and understand that the triaging process takes a little longer as practices adapt to the pandemic. Don’t forget, you may be able to book appointments online so make sure you are registered for online services with your practice and it may help you save time.
There are many health services available across Doncaster this winter so if your local practice is full and you need to see someone, call the Same Day Health Centre, NHS 111, visit a local pharmacy or if appropriate, attend the Urgent Treatment Centre. The Doncaster Health Bus is also on tour throughout the year so check if it’s nearby and take advantage of the walk on service offered.
Age UK Doncaster host a range of volunteer programmes all year round to provide support to elderly and vulnerable people to help keep their independence and prevent social isolation. If you would like to get involved in this important local service, please visit the Age UK Doncaster website.
The Social Isolation and Loneliness Alliance (SIA) is a collaboration of partners from the public, voluntary, community and faith sectors who are committed to reducing social isolation and loneliness in Doncaster. Anyone who needs help or advice or has no other support can ring the SIA Helpline seven days a week Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 6pm. Helpline: 01302 430322