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Help Us Help You this winter

21 November 2018


We are currently experiencing high demand in our hospital.

We know that colder weather tends to bring more patients through our front door and our A&E department and our whole hospital is busy.

Over the past year we’ve put a number of things in place in conjunction with our partner agencies to try and enhance the service we provide and to make the admission and discharge process for patients more effective. You can read more about some of the developments, including the expansion of our Ambulatory Care Unit and the innovative Early Intervention Vehicle in our latest edition of Making Waves.

As part of the national campaign to help everyone stay well this winter we’re asking you to Help Us Help You.  This involves a number of steps to assist you to get the best help and advice if you are unwell but also to make the best use of NHS resources so we can help everyone who needs assistance this winter.

A helpful leaflet, available by clicking here, or by clicking on the image above, gives hints and tips to stay well as well as giving guidance on where to go to get help should you need it.

This could be paying a visit to your local pharmacy for advice on soothing minor ailments to dialling the NHS 111 number to get guidance about who will be best able to assist you.

We’re asking you to keep our A&E for emergencies only.

Improved access to primary care

Did you know that patients across Norfolk and Waveney now have improved access to GP appointments?

There are now routine appointments at evenings and weekends for all Great Yarmouth and Waveney area patients, and all GP practices are able to book their patients into the sessions below:


Following consultation by Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) these new appointments were introduced, meaning there are now opportunities for appointment bookings on weekdays up until 8pm.


Do you have asthma, COPD or another long term illness? Pregnant? Maybe you are in one of the other ‘eligible groups’.

Then you ought to consider having the flu jab. It is the best way to avoid catching flu.

Ask your GP or local community pharmacy.

Flu is an unpredictable virus that causes mild illness in most people who get it, but it can cause severe illness among vulnerable groups including people with an underlying health condition. The flu vaccine is available from the NHS for adults and children who are in “eligible groups”, as well as children aged 2 to 9 years old on August 31 2018.

You can read the full list of who is eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination here.

The flu vaccine is safe – and it can't give you flu

 The injected flu vaccine given to adults contains inactivated flu viruses, so it can't give you flu. Your arm may feel a bit sore where you were injected, and some people get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a couple of days afterwards.

 The viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination that matches the new viruses each year. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year's flu season.

More flu facts here  

Flu is much worse than a heavy cold

A bad bout of flu is much worse than a heavy cold. Flu symptoms come on suddenly and sometimes severely. They include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, as well as a cough and sore throat.

You're likely to spend 2 or 3 days in bed. If you get complications caused by flu, you could become seriously ill and have to go to hospital.

You need to have the flu vaccine every year

The viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination that matches the new viruses each year. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year's flu season.

Is the flu vaccine safe in pregnancy?

Yes. Studies have shown that it's safe to have the flu vaccine during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date.
Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.
It's safe for women who are breastfeeding to have the vaccine.

Even if you think you've had flu, you should still have the vaccination

If you're in one of the "at risk" groups you should still get the vaccine.
As flu is caused by several viruses, the immunity you naturally developed will only protect you against one of them – you could go on to catch another strain, so it's recommended you have the vaccine even if you've recently had flu. Also, what you thought was flu could have been something else.

It's not too late to have the flu vaccine in November

You should take up the offer of the flu vaccine when it becomes available, with the best time to have it from the beginning of October to the end of November.

Vitamin C can't prevent flu

Many people think that taking daily vitamin C supplements will stop them getting flu, but there's no evidence to prove this.

How can I protect myself, my family and those around me from the flu?

Flu is very infectious and the virus can live on hands and hard surfaces for up to 24 hours. This is why it is important to “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” - “Catch” any sneezes in a tissue, “Bin” any tissues immediately and “Kill” the virus by washing your hands with soap and warm water. Avoid contact with sick people and wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.

If you are unwell, look after yourself, drink plenty of fluids and stay at home so you don’t spread flu to others.

The vaccine remains the best defence we have to protect against the spread of flu and we encourage everyone eligible to get it each year.

There is further information at - and in the video below, which features the James Paget's Chief Pharmacist.