With England’s NHS under immense pressure even before the full onset of winter, here are 20 tips on how you can make the most of the NHS, use health services more appropriately, and obtain the care you and your family need to protect your health and wellbeing.
1. Attend for appointments for medication reviews and for the management of long-term conditions when invited.
2. Take-up the offer of Covid-19 and flu vaccinations if you are eligible. Make sure you are up to date with any other vaccinations you are eligible for. Attend for health screening appointments when invited.
3. Use the NHS app to book appointments, view your GP medical record and order repeat prescriptions.
4. Be aware of the range of options for NHS care – including opticians, pharmacists, self-referral services (e.g. podiatry, IAPT, smoking cessation), and NHS 111.
5. Use the NHS electronic prescription service so that your prescription is sent directly to a pharmacy.
6. For queries about hospital care, contact the hospital PALS team rather than your GP.
7. Apply for online access to your hospital records if this is available.
10. Don’t Smoke.
11. Exercise regularly including outdoors so that you get some sunlight exposure. This will also help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
12. Eat 5 portions of fruit & vegetables every day and eat plenty of high-fibre foods.
14. Limit your sugar & salt intake.
15. Limit your alcohol intake to a safe level.
16. Take time to improve your mental health; including by meeting regularly with friends and family.
17. Check your own blood pressure.
18. Take your medication as prescribed.
19. Get a good night’s sleep.
20. Listen to experts on health issues and not random people on social media.