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Musgrove supports national campaign encouraging people to get help … ‘the earlier the better’ - 05 February 2014

Musgrove supports national campaign encouraging people to get help … ‘the earlier the better’ - 05 February 2014

Musgrove Park Hospital’s doctors and nurses are supporting a national campaign ‘The Earlier the Better’ which urges older people to seek help for health problems sooner rather than later, and not store them up until they get worse.

Getting help early is especially important over the winter period – as the weather gets colder more people become ill or feel poorly. If you are older and more frail you will need to seek help as soon as you start feeling ill.

Senior clinicians have been concerned over the rising number of older people who are admitted to hospital because of respiratory or other chronic conditions which are usually worsened by immobility, the cold and viral illnesses.

They say the answer lies in better self and family care, recognising the signs of illness early on and having access to medication, primary and community care.

People who are feeling unwell don’t always need to visit a doctor in order to get early advice – did you know that:

  • You can get advice on minor ailments from your local pharmacy and they can provide    expert advice on how to manage long term conditions or a bad cough, wheezing, or a cold and sore throat. They can also provide you with a free flu jab if you are over 65 or are in any of the other high risk groups. They have longer opening hours than GP practices and most have private consultation areas – and they will also tell you if you need to see a doctor.

  • Talk to your friends or your carers – they will be able to point you in the right direction and help you to get help early.

  • You can also access self-care information about minor illnesses and ailments from the NHS Choices website.

Medical Director Colin Close said: “Colder weather makes more people feel poorly and it is important that people in high risk groups such as older, frailer people get the help they need early to nip health problems in the bud. We see in our hospital many people in these groups who have not had or sought the help they need early enough which can lead to an unnecessary stay in hospital.

“People should seek help for health problems earlier rather than later, by consulting their GP as soon as they feel ill, by talking to their family or carer or talking to their pharmacist. Pharmacists and their teams are well trained and are well placed to be able to offer advice to people seeking help.”