Celebrities pledge support to encourage the nation to Stay Well This Winter

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Celebrities pledge support to encourage the nation to Stay Well This Winter
16 November 2015
  • Alan Davies, Joey Essex, Ainsley Harriott, Tina Hobley, Arlene Phillips, Sunetra Sarker and Barbara Windsor back major drive to help people Stay Well This Winter
  • TV doctor, Rosemary Leonard supports the campaign and reminds people to keep a watchful eye on elderly neighbours and relatives
  • Campaign urges people to stay warm and visit their pharmacist at the first sign of illness

WITH the winter season upon us and the launch of Self Care Week today (Monday 16th November), a number of the country’s famous faces are supporting a major drive to help the nation keep well over the winter months.

The celebrities backing ‘The Stay Well This Winter’ campaign, a joint initiative from NHS England and Public Health England, have been photographed in their woollies holding the letters W-I-N-T-E-R. Each letter represents an action people and their families can take to ensure they stay well over the winter months.

The latest data reveals that excess winter deaths contribute to about 1 in 20 of all deaths per year, with older people who may be frail, or who have existing long term health conditions, most at risk. The Stay Well This WINTER messages, which are aimed at these audiences and carers are:

  • Warm: Keep your house warm this winter at least 18°C (65F)
  • Immunisations: Get your flu vaccination
  • Neighbours: Keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives
  • Timely: Seek advice from a pharmacist at first sign of illness
  • Enough: Pick up repeat prescriptions so you have enough while pharmacies/surgeries are closed
  • Restock: Make sure you have enough food and medicine in the cupboards

Actress Barbara Windsor, who is supporting the campaign said:

“It’s the simplest things that we sometimes forget, and when remembered, they can make all the difference! The Stay Well This Winter campaign is a great way of reminding people about the little things they can do to make sure they’re protecting themselves as the cold weather sets in, whether that’s staying warm, stocking up on prescription medicines or checking in on friends and neighbours to make sure they are keeping well”.

TV doctor, Dr. Rosemary Leonard who wants to encourage the public to be more aware of the dangers that winter can bring said:

 “Elderly people and those with long term health conditions are particularly vulnerable to winter illnesses so I’d urge anyone that falls into these groups to take heed of these messages and plan ahead for Winter.

 “With over 1 million people stating that they are always or often lonely, crucially, this initiative reminds us to keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives. Simple actions like making a phone call to say hello or ensuring our loved ones have stocked up on prescription medicines takes no time at all but can make all the difference.”

The launch of these iconic images coincides with the start of Self Care week which aims to help people understand when it is safe to look after their own health, when to seek treatment, and where to access health advice, whether it is from the pharmacist, GP, nurse or if emergency treatment is required.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director for NHS England, said:

“Through TV, radio, posters and leaflets we will help people know where to seek help and get advice - whether it’s pharmacies, NHS Choices, calling 111 or A&E.

“It’s critical we all do what we can help others stay well this winter.  Think of the elderly.  Half live alone and one third only occasionally socialise if at all, so they are slow to seek help.  Those who are frail can get very sick very quickly – even a cold can end up with a stay in hospital. 

“In keeping with the spirit of our NHS, let’s all play our part in helping each other stay well this winter.”

John Smith, Chief Executive of PAGB, which organises Self Care Week on behalf of the Self Care Forum, said:

“It is important we support people to look after their own and their family’s health, particularly over the winter.  There are still misconceptions about the self-treatable conditions we all experience, such as coughs, colds and sore throats.  For example, more than a third of people who go to see their GP with cold or flu symptoms do so to get a prescription for antibiotics, even though we know that antibiotics just don’t work on these viruses.

“There are lots of things people can do to stay well over the winter, such as having the flu jab and keeping warm.  If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, or needs advice about which over-the-counter medicines are suitable, they should speak to a pharmacist.  Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals and, for the vast majority of people, the local pharmacy is easily accessible and no appointment is needed.”

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Notes to Editors

Additional quotes:

Joey Essex, reality star in The Only Way is Essex, said:

“I’m really close to my nan and am glad that she’s happy and healthy, but as the colder weather sets in, me and my family are aware that she and other elderly folk are at risk of getting ill. That’s why I’m supporting this Stay Well This Winter campaign, which provides a load of easy tips to help all our loved ones prepare for winter. We should all be looking out for each other. If I’m doing it and my mates are doing it, you should too.  Visit  www.nhs.uk/staywell to find out more. “

Ainsley Harriott, Celebrity Chef, said:

“We’re all more prone to illness in the colder months, and we all know that certain people, like the elderly and those with long-term health conditions, are more at risk than the rest of us. I think people sometimes forget about simple things that we can do to prepare for winter, which can make all the difference! It’s so easy, for instance, to stock up your cupboards with plenty of wholesome and healthy foods like tinned fruit, veg, fish and meat - which can go a long way to ensuring you’re well nourished on days when it’s too cold and icy to head to the shops. The Stay Well This Winter campaign has lots of other tips and that’s why I’m supporting the campaign this year.”

Tina Hobley, actress in Holby City and Coronation Street, said:

“The Stay Well This Winter campaign is about protecting yourself, your family and the people around you in the colder months. One of the things any parent can do is to make sure our little ones get the flu vaccine. The vaccine is free to children aged 2-4 and is available in the form of a quick and painless nasal spray. The flu vaccination is also free for those aged 65 and over, people with long term health conditions and pregnant women. Aside from the flu vaccine, the campaign promotes a range of things which we should do to look after our families this winter.”

Arlene Phillips, choreographer and former judge on So You Think You Can Dance and Strictly Come Dancing, said:

The Stay Well This Winter campaign is all about looking after not only yourself, but also the people around you in the winter time. Having taken care of my elderly father as he lived with dementia, I am fully aware of just how dangerous the winter can be, particularly for the people who are most vulnerable, like the elderly and those with long-term health conditions. This campaign encourages people to be prepared against the dangers of winter, and to look out for their elderly neighbours who might be alone and less able to take care of themselves this winter. I really want to encourage everyone to take the advice given and find out more at: www.nhs.uk/staywell

Sunetra Sarker, actress in Casualty, said:

“I’m very aware of how the winter can affect people’s health and we all need to look after older members of our family this winter. I want to make sure I know all the things I can do to look out for my loved ones, and I’m sure other people are in the same position as me. The Stay Well This Winter Campaign is so helpful because it provides exactly this sort of advice. I’d urge everyone to take note, whether it’s getting the flu jab, keeping warm or checking in on friends and neighbours, there are lots of ways we can make sure we are protecting ourselves and our loved ones this winter.”

Alan Davies, comedian and actor in Jonathan Creek, said:

“My priority, like all parents, is to make sure my children are happy and healthy, indeed, nobody wants to see their children ill, particularly when there are things we can do to prevent it. The Stay Well This Winter campaign has lots of advice about things you can do to keep yourself and your family well this winter, one of which is to make sure your children are vaccinated against flu. Not only will the vaccination, which is available for free to children aged 2, 3 and 4 and in school years 1 and 2, help to protect them against flu, it will also help to minimise the risk of it spreading it to more vulnerable people like grandparents. So don’t put it off, speak to your doctor or visit www.nhs.uk/staywell; it’s such an easy thing to do.”

  1. The NHS ‘Stay Well This Winter’ urges the public to:
  • Make sure you get your flu vaccination
  • Keep yourself warm. Heat your home to least 18 degrees C or (65f) if you can 
  • If you start to feel unwell, even if it¹s just a cough or a cold, then get help from your pharmacist quickly before it gets more serious.
  • Look out for other people who may need a bit if extra help over winter.
  • Make sure you get your prescription medicines before pharmacies close on Christmas Eve 
  • Always take your prescribed medicines as directed
  1. Stay Well This Winter is run in partnership with NHS England and Public Health England, the NHS Improvement Authority, Monitor and the Department of Health. It runs across a range of media including TV, radio, digital, press and poster sites. For more information please visits the website at nhs.uk/staywell
  1. Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation's health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Website: gov.uk/PHE Twitter: @PHE_uk, Facebook: www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland
  1. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. Find out more here:  gov.uk/phe/keep-warm
  1. PAGB (Proprietary Association of Great Britain) is the UK trade association for branded over the counter medicines, self care medical devices and food supplements.  PAGB supports the Self Care Forum to organise Self Care Week (16-22 November) and is a partner in the Stay Well This Winter campaign.  pagb.co.uk  www.selfcareforum.org

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