Preparing for winter: Help us care for you

Date: 28 November 2023

Vaccination

This winter we will be ready to help patients across Medway and Swale requiring care, but there are important things we should all do to take care of ourselves and stay well, particularly as we continue to live with the ongoing presence of COVID-19.

As a member of our community, you can help us, while we care for you. We know that:

• If you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill

• Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses.

Millions of eligible people in England can book their life-saving autumn COVID-19 vaccine online now, after the NHS recently stepped up its winter vaccination programmes in response to the risk of a new Covid variant. Anyone eligible can book their Covid vaccinations via the NHS website, by downloading the NHS App, or by calling 119 for free if they can’t get online.

If you’re 65 or over, you’re at increased risk of getting seriously ill if you catch flu or COVID-19. Protect yourself and those around you. Book your vaccinations now by visiting the NHS website.  Or visit the NHS Kent and Medway website to read details about their health and wellbeing buses which are visiting various locations in Medway offering Covid-19 vaccines only to eligible people.

Meanwhile the flu vaccine is safe and effective and is offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of getting seriously ill. The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn or early winter before flu starts spreading, but you can get the vaccine later. If you've had COVID-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu. Find out more on the NHS website. 

During winter and periods of cold weather it’s important to look after yourself if you start to feel unwell. You shouldn’t wait until it gets more serious; instead seek advice from your pharmacist as early as possible. Pharmacists can give you advice about winter illnesses, including which medicines to take.

When to use NHS 111 online or call 111

NHS 111 can help if you think you need medical help right now.

You can get help from NHS 111:

111 online is for people aged 5 and over. Call 111 if you need help for a child under 5.

Finally, we would like to remind you about the current visiting measures in place at Medway Maritime Hospital which ensure the protection of patients and staff. These include washing your hands regularly, or using hand gel and not entering the hospital if you have COVID-19 symptoms, unless you require urgent medical care. Thank you for your cooperation and for helping us care for you this winter.

  • Summary:

    This winter we will be ready to help patients across Medway and Swale requiring care, but there are important things we should all do to take care of ourselves and stay well.