Stay well this winter and have your say on healthcare

There are various opportunities coming up for north Northumberland residents to have their say on aspects of healthcare, while people are being encouraged to stay well this winter.

Cold weather can be very harmful, especially for those in higher-risk groups such as over 65s, young children, pregnant women and people with long-term health conditions.

The flu vaccination is available for people in groups such as this and for young children, the vaccination is a simple nasal spray. If you have not been offered your flu vaccination, contact your local GP today to check whether you are eligible to receive it.

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Coun Veronica Jones, with responsibility for public health at Northumberland County Council, said: "We are urging the residents of Northumberland to take care of their health this winter. Winter can be seriously bad for our health and is a time which can cause lots of illnesses, some increasing into something more serious, so it is important for the more vulnerable groups, along with those less vulnerable, to ensure they make their health a priority for them and others.

"We recommend that at the first sign of illness, everyone seek advice from their pharmacist to help avoid minor illnesses turning into something more serious; the sooner you get advice, the better. We also urge all those eligible for the flu vaccination that they ensure they receive it, it’s free because you need it.”

Further information about how to stay well this winter can be found online here.

People across Northumberland and North Tyneside are being invited to share their views on how the NHS can be fit for the future via Northumbria Healthcare’s roadshow. Among the stops are: Thursday, November 9, 10am to noon – Belford Market Place, 2pm to 4pm – Cheviot Centre car park, Wooler; Friday, November 10, 10am to noon – Bamburgh, car park opposite castle, 2pm to 4pm – Seahouses, Seafield car park; Saturday, November 11, 10am to noon – Alnwick Market Place, 2pm to 4pm – Rothbury, the Haugh.

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• A patient forum event on the themes of mental health and Care Navigators will take place on Tuesday, in the Northumberland Hall, Alnwick, between 2pm and 5pm. To attend or for further information, email [email protected] or call 01670 335 185.

• Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is marching towards becoming smokefree from the end of next March. As part of its commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of its staff, patients and visitors, smoking will not be permitted in any of the trust’s hospitals, community sites or grounds from March 31, 2018.

• Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, has welcomed news of the Welsh Government’s move to introduce a bill for a minimum unit price. Partnerships manager Sue Taylor said it should be applauded for ‘its willingness to tackle the real harms associated with cheap alcohol and to put the public’s health above commercial interests’.