Cartoon fun has a serious ‘stay well this winter’ message for people of Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership have today launched a series of fun animations to help show Greater Manchester residents some easy ways to stay well this winter.

Supporting this year’s Stay Well This Winter campaign, which was launched by Public Health England and NHS England in October, the three short clips show a variety of colourful cartoon characters demonstrating the importance of taking simple steps like keeping warm, protecting yourself against flu and knowing where to go to get the right treatment if you should feel ill over the winter months.

Lord Peter Smith, Chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Board said:

“No-one wants to get ill over the winter months, but there are some simple and effective steps you can take to stay well. By staying warm, protecting yourself and your family against flu and making sure you know where to go to get the treatment you need, you can help yourself and those you love stay well this winter. These animations are a great, fun way for us to get this simple yet important message across to the people of Greater Manchester.”

“We know that hospitals can face admission demands in winter and so earlier this year, to help make sure the NHS and social care in Greater Manchester can deal with the extra workload the winter months bring, the Partnership also launched a £5m fund to help prepare for colder weather.”

Keeping warm – both inside and outdoors – during winter is a really top tip as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Where possible, you should heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F) – although you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer (especially if Granny is coming over to visit).

Flu can really give you the winter blues and getting vaccinated against the virus is the best way to help protect yourself. It is particularly important to get the flu vaccine if you are 65 or older, if you have a long term health condition (such as chronic respiratory disease like asthma; heart, kidney or liver disease; diabetes, etc.), or if you are pregnant. If you fall into any of these groups, the vaccination is free, so don’t put it off – it’s free because you need it.

If you’re pregnant, you can be assured that the flu vaccine is safe and will help protect both you and your baby. It’s also important for children to be vaccinated against the flu as we all know that, as cute as they are, kids love to share everything, including their germs. If your child was 2, 3 or 4 on 1 September 2016 they can have a free nasal spray – quick, easy, painless and no need for needles.

Last year across Greater Manchester, over half a million people were vaccinated. This included 335,000 people aged 65 years plus; 186,000 people in at risk groups, over 16,000 pregnant women and more than 46,000 children through the school programme. We want to help even more people this year. Remember, to be protected you need to have the vaccine every year as flu is unpredictable and previous years’ vaccinations may not protect you against the types of flu virus that are going around this year.

Knowing where to get the best treatment for you if you feel poorly this winter is also really important. Dr Richard Preece, Medical Director for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:

“If you are feeling unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, the place to get help quickly is your local pharmacist.

Pharmacists are skilled healthcare professionals. You don’t need to book an appointment to see them and usually they can give you the advice and medicines you need straight away.

Remember, A&E really is for accidents and emergencies, like serious and life-threatening injuries and illnesses.”

You can watch the videos here – http://bit.ly/2fVI2N3 Please also visit nhs.uk/staywell for further helpful tips and advice on staying healthy in cold weather.