Medway’s Emergency Department encourages community to Stay Well this Winter

Date: 18 December 2019

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With the colder weather now upon us, Medway Maritime Hospital is offering some simple tips on how people in Kent and Medway can stay well this winter. 

Medway is supporting the NHS England and Public Health England Stay Well this Winter campaign. The campaign aims to ensure that people who are most at-risk of preventable emergency conditions are aware of what actions to take to avoid ending up in hospital this winter.

In recent weeks, it has not been unusual for as many as 500 people to visit the department in one day alone – a very high number of patients for one Emergency Department to deal with.

Andrew Stradling, Clinical Director for Acute and Emergency Medicine at Maritime Hospital, said: “With the colder weather upon us, we will inevitably come under pressure as a result of the sheer volume of people coming into the hospital. That has certainly been the case in recent weeks.

“As the only Emergency Department in the area, we will always do our utmost to provide the people of Kent and Medway with the care and compassion they should expect and deserve. However, there are some pre-emptive measures people can take to reduce their chances of ending up in hospital.

“We would strongly encourage people to follow some of the simple and really helpful advice that is being issued as part of the Stay Well this Winter campaign.”

Here are some basic tips people in Kent and Medway can follow this winter to stay well:

  • Cold weather can be very harmful, especially for people aged 65 or older: it weakens the immune system, increases blood pressure, thickens the blood and lowers body temperature, increasing risks of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections. Don’t put off getting the flu vaccination. If you’re eligible get it now. It’s free because you need it.
  • If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious, get help from your pharmacist. The sooner you get advice the better – pharmacists are here to help you stay well this winter.
  • If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or other medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays.
  • If you do need help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit who can direct you to a local service that is open.
  • It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can. You might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.

For further information on how to stay well this winter, please visit

  • Summary:

    With the colder weather now upon us, Medway Maritime Hospital is offering some simple tips on how people in Kent and Medway can stay well this winter.