North Tyneside CCG News

Winter campaign launches with clear message from the region’s NHS – ‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ to combat those common winter illnesses  

Mon 17th November 2014

The NHS in the region is launching its winter campaign this week and urging North Easterners to ‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ to combat the usual winter coughs, colds, aches and illnesses that are common in usually healthy people at this time of the year.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the North East launch their annual winter campaign on Monday 17 November and are reminding people that many of the common winter ailments and illnesses people come down with at this time of year are easily treated at home or with advice from a pharmacist – with no need to see a doctor or nurse and keeping valuable appointments open for those who really need them.

Backed by partner NHS organisations in the region, the campaign will run throughout the Christmas holiday period, traditionally the busiest time of the year for the NHS and targets people who are usually in good health and perhaps wake up one morning feeling under the weather and don’t know what to do.

  • Winter weather means more slips and trips – and generally more of us feeling unwell as we spend more time indoors and coughs, colds and other viruses are passed around our family, friends and colleagues at work.
  • This all adds up to more of us having an accident or becoming unwell with a winter bug, meaning more people want to see their GP, attend accident and emergency or call 999.
  • However, there is no need to panic as most normally healthy people with a winter illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999 – so our message this winter is ‘keep calm’.
  • Colds, sore throats, head-aches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.
  • By doing this not only are you helping to reduce the spread of winter viruses to other vulnerable patients in NHS waiting rooms – you are also keeping appointments available for people who have serious health conditions that must see a doctor or nurse.

The Keep Calm campaign launches on November 17 to tie in with National Self Care Week and European Antibiotics Awareness Day, and includes a dedicated website with information on common winter illnesses, what the symptoms are, how to treat them, how long they will last. It includes advice on what to keep in your winter medicines cabinet so you can be ready to treat illnesses as they start.  Visit for further information.  You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @keepcalmne

The campaign will be seen on regional TV adverts, buses, social media and printed materials in GP practices, pharmacies and other venues across the region.

The campaign message of ‘Keep Calm and look after yourself’ runs across three threads including:

  • Keep Calm and ask a pharmacist
  • Keep Calm and call 111
  • Keep Calm and antibiotics aren’t always the answer.