Help the NHS this winter
By Dr Niruban Ratnarajah
Every winter the NHS comes under huge pressure.
And this year there is real danger that it could be worse than ever as we continue to deal with the demands caused by coronavirus.
You may have read in the news that there are two probable cases here in Bolton of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19.
Coronaviruses thrive in cold temperatures and, while there is a lot we still don’t know about this new variant, the Government has been sufficiently worried to introduce travel restrictions to a number of countries.
It has also, this week, re-introduced laws which make it compulsory for us to wear face coverings in shops, banks, post offices and on public transport, unless exempt.
I appeal to the people of Bolton to follow these new rules - to keep themselves safe, and to take the pressure off our local NHS.
Another thing that people can do is get vaccinated.
The expansion of the Covid-19 booster programme to people under the age of 40 was announced this week and Bolton, like the rest of the country, is working hard to get these arrangements in place as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, if you are aged 40 or over, please get your booster to top up your immunity if it has been at least six months since your second dose.
And remember – it is not too late to get your first or second dose if you haven’t yet had them!
Finally, people can help the NHS by taking a minute to think about where to go with their health concerns this winter. This will ensure that our GP practices and A&E departments are there for the people who need them the most.
It can be worrying if you, or someone you love, is poorly, but many minor winter illnesses can be treated at home. Make sure you have some common medicines handy, such as paracetamol and cold and flu remedies, in case you need them.
Your local pharmacy also a great place to go for help and advice; many are open in the evenings and at the weekend.
Check out the new Be the Difference Bolton website for more advice.