Swan Medical Group News 2

The Effect of Winter Pressures on Your GP Surgery

February 7, 2018

Dear Valued Patients,

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this Winter season. The current cold weather, following on from a period of exceptionally mild weather late in 2017 has seen an increase of demand on our services.  

These winter pressures show a significant increase in the number of patients with coughs, colds, sore throats and flu-like symptoms. The majority of these conditions are caused by viruses, they will not respond to antibiotics and will get better after a few days. There is also an increase in the numbers of strokes and heart attacks in the winter months, thought to be caused by the cold temperatures increasing a person’s blood pressure and it taking longer for this to return to normal.

Our telephone lines and reception team are under stress at the moment due to these winter pressures. On an average day in excess of 1,000,000 patients will see a GP in England and in the winter months this can increase by 30%.

Please bear with us during the busy winter season. We are striving to answer your calls so please don’t hang up when you get in a queue. These lines are often busiest in the morning, if you cannot hold and can call back later in the day, please do. Note that calls for Direct 2 Doctor call-back need to be received before 3pm. Our GP and nursing team are working hard to manage the current increase in pa-tient demand both by telephone, using our Direct 2 Doctor call back system and in person by adding extra appointments.

In the meantime, follow these handy tips to proactively manage your health:

Have the flu jab – particularly true for young children, those over 65, pregnant women and anyone with a long-term condition or if you are a carer.

If you develop a cough, cold or sore throat – take some paracetamol, drink plenty of fluid and if necessary seek further advice from NHS 111, NHS Choices website or your local pharmacy.

Use local pharmacies for advice about common winter ailments.

Keep warm – Keep your home at 18C (65F) or higher if you can.

Eat well – hot meals and drinks can keep you warm.

Make sure you order and collect your prescriptions early enough – don’t run out.

Take regular exercise – Exercise is good for both your physical and mental health.

Everyone should have a medicine cabinet – with a thermometer and common treatments for pain, allergies, diarrhoea and vomiting as well as treatments for minor injuries. Local pharmacists can advise.

Visit the Minor Injuries Unit at Petersfield Hospital – sprains, breaks, burns, dislocation and wounds.