On Thursday 14 November 2019 the HSE announced their Winter Plan for 2019/2020.
As we all know, during winter, hospitals, and in particular their Emergency Departments, are under pressure due to increased demand from the public. The HSE is therefore asking people to be 'winter ready' by:
• Getting the Flu Vaccine and making sure their pneumonia vaccine is up to date.
• Making sure they have enough medication for over the Christmas period.
• Talking to their pharmacist or healthcare provider about taking the correct doses of their medication
• Confirming they know how to use any medical devices they might need
• Planning what to do if they become ill
• Knowing their symptoms
It is also important that patients and their families know about their GP Out of Hours Service and their local Injury Unit.
Within the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG), patients can attend the Injury Unit at St Columcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown (see video below) or the Mater Smithfield Rapid Injury Clinic.
The HSE is also providing a whole suite of information online, through their website including Under the Weather and Stay Well this Winter.
The HSE is asking anyone who feels they might need a healthcare professional over winter to protect themselves as best they can from getting sick and explore all their options before they attend their local ED for treatment.