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Health experts urge people with respiratory conditions to stay safe as temperatures fall

Health experts urge people with respiratory conditions to stay safe as temperatures fall

The local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are warning respiratory sufferers to stay safe this winter as they anticipate an annual spike in hospital admissions for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

While many of us may need to take a day or two off work due to a mild cold and generally feeling unwell, it's often a different story for people with respiratory illnesses and existing chronic respiratory conditions. Asthma sufferers are particularly vulnerable as the cold weather and viral infections, such as flu, can lead to patients needing more care and support than usual and often being admitted to hospital.

The three local CCGs: Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts are urging everyone to stay well this winter or, if they do fall ill, to get the right treatment from the service that can help them best.

There are a few simple steps that people with COPD, asthma or another respiratory health condition can do to keep well.

  • Don’t go out in cold weather as a drop in temperature can cause a flare-up.

  • Have the flu jab. If you’ve not been offered it, contact your GP surgery.

  • Be familiar with your self-care plan. If you don’t have one, contact your GP or practice nurse.

  • Have the pneumonia vaccine if you’ve been offered it.

  • Seek expert health advice from your pharmacist, NHS 111 or your GP.

Dr Colin Renwick, clinical chair of Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, said: "Many people would not need to be admitted to hospital if they took a few simple self-care steps. I've worked with many patients with respiratory conditions over the years and I've seen how those with help and support have become experts at managing their own conditions.

"I know that most respiratory crises can be dealt with at home or in the community. Patients with COPD and asthma should all have self-management and action plans in place. My message to patients and the public is simple: look after yourself this winter."



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