Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is working together with the public and partner organisations to keep Gwent well this winter.
With the colder weather and festive season bringing falls and injuries, along with the spread of winter bugs, viruses and flu, the increased number of patients requiring care and treatment can result in longer waiting times, fuller hospitals, and further pressure on healthcare services throughout the NHS system.
The Health Board has a plan to take local NHS services through winter, working together with partner organisations across Gwent to keep people well. As a result, a number of new initiatives are being introduced to help ease pressures on their services over the coming months - and a new webpage has been launched, which is packed with advice on how to get through the winter period safely and comfortably.
Dr James Calvert, Medical Director for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “We know that with the current pressures across the health and social care system, we are facing our busiest winter ever this year. We also know that this is a very tough time for people and we all need to pull together to get through the winter months.
“Local residents can really help us by looking after themselves and their loved ones this winter. We know that vulnerable members of our communities are more susceptible to falls and the effects of the colder weather during the winter months, so checking in on elderly family members and neighbours could prevent them coming to harm and also help to reduce pressure on our precious NHS services.”
Also included in the Health Board’s advice is preparing for the colder weather by keeping medicine cabinets well-stocked with all the winter essentials, as well as choosing self-care at home when feeling unwell to avoid spreading winter bugs.
When in need of medical help, looking at all the options available could also make a big difference to the amount of time it takes for patients to receive the right care for them.
Dr Calvert said: “It’s also vitally important for the public to carefully consider which service they choose if they do need our help, so that we can ensure we are providing timely care to those who need it.
“Anyone unsure of where to go for medical help should check their symptoms online with the NHS 111 Wales Symptom Checker or call 111 for urgent help and advice.”
As well as choosing the right service, first time, local residents can also help to reduce waiting times and free up beds by supporting their loved ones to return home from hospital as soon as they are well enough to be discharged.
Dr Calvert said: “There are also a number of patients in our hospitals who, despite being medically fit, are awaiting some form of care at home before they can leave. Any support that relatives and loved ones can offer to these patients could help them return home before Christmas and free up some much-needed beds in our hospitals.”
Please keep an eye on the Health Board’s website and social media channels in the coming weeks for information on exciting new initiatives and services to offer local people the best possible standards of care.
More information about Keeping Gwent Well This Winter can be found here: Keeping Gwent Well This Winter - Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (nhs.wales)