Stay Well This Winter, the annual campaign to ease seasonal pressure on NHS urgent care and emergency services, starts on October 9. Pharmacies can register now to download posters and other resources from the Public Health England website.

Phase 1 of the campaign, running from October 9-29, will promote flu vaccination for pregnant women, children aged 2-3 years, and those with long term health conditions, particularly respiratory diseases.

Phase 2 will run from November 6 to December 17, urging those at risk of hospital admission to the visit a pharmacy for advice and treatment of seasonal illnesses.

The seasonal increase in hospital admissions can lead to breaches of the urgent and emergency care standard, which is that 95 per cent of patients should be seen, treated, admitted or discharged within four hours of arrival at A&E.

This in turn can lead to a recently named condition dubbed ‘hospital congestive failure’, where resources are diverted from elsewhere in the hospital to cope with the influx from A&E.

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