Stay safe from flu this winter with a flu jab

This is not a normal year!  We all want to protect ourselves and those close to us. This year, the double dangers of flu and COVID-19 mean it’s especially important to protect ourselves from the flu.

The flu virus spreads from person-to-person and as frontline workers, you are at an increased risk of contracting flu. Sometimes you can get flu without symptoms which makes it very easy for you to pass it on without knowing.

There’s lots of myths about flu and the flu vaccination which is why we have put together a page of Frequently Asked Questions.

Even if we are healthy, we can still get flu and spread it to the people we care about and care for. Getting a flu jab is easy, you can access it through your GP, a practice nurse or your local pharmacy. It is free to all frontline workers, just be sure to take your ID badge with you.

The NHS and Lloyds Pharmacy websites have more information about the vaccination:

Frequently Asked Questions about the flu vaccination

Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions people ask about flu and the flu vaccination.

You can get the flu from a flu jab? False

This myth really caught on over the years. Flu jabs are made with dead viruses or pieces (proteins) from the flu virus. You can’t catch the flu from getting one. Your arm might hurt after the jab. You might have aches or a low fever. But you’d feel a lot worse if you caught the flu.

You can spread the flu before you know you’re sick? True

Here’s one of the tricky things about the flu: You can pass it to someone before you have symptoms, while you’re sick, and up to a week after you start feeling bad. Some people, especially kids and those with weakened immune systems, can be contagious even longer.

The flu isn’t serious? False

Some people get so sick that they need to go to the hospital. They can get pneumonia or even respiratory failure. The flu is most dangerous for children, people ages 65 and older, and those with other health problems. About 90% of people who die from the flu are older adults. Flu is the top cause of vaccine-preventable deaths.

Who should get the flu jab? Everyone

Getting the flu jab is the best way to protect yourself. Everyone 6 months and older should get it every year. It will help guard you against the 3 or 4 strains predicted to strike hard that flu season. Scientists update the vaccine each year. Talk to your doctor if you have any health concerns or questions.

The flu virus changes all the time. True

The flu that’s keeping your partner in bed might not be the same one that made your aunt sick last year. That’s because flu viruses are always changing. They can vary from year to year. They can even change in the middle of a flu season.

Getting a flu vaccine in December is too late? False

Its recommended that people get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available and that vaccination continue in December, January and beyond. Influenza activity normally peaks in February most years, but disease can occur as late as May.

Government post advising people to get a flu vaccination.

What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes

On this page are a video and two booklets about Diabetes.

What is diabetes video

What to do when you have diabetes – An easy read guide.

The first booklet is by Diabetes UK who are leading the fight against diabetes.


If you are using a desktop or laptop computer you can click on the Full Screen button to zoom the page. Click on your browser’s back button to return to normal size.

What to do when you have diabetes - An easy read guide_0

Getting started if you have Diabetes

This booklet was produced by the Bristol Central Community Learning Team.

getting started with Type 2 Diabetes_0

Men’s health: Testicular Awareness

Cancer of your Testicles (Balls) can develop in men from the age of 15 years onwards
therefore you should not feel embarrassed to talk to your parents, friends or partners about
Testicular self examination.

Check your balls about once a month. If you have any concerns talk to your Doctor.
AFTER ALL IT’S YOUR HEALTH AT STAKE.

Watch a helpful video

Here’s a good video that tells you how to do an examination from ITV’s Lorraine Breakfast show.

Changes you should look out for:

  • Small hard painless lump
  • A dull ache
  • A testicle getting larger
  • One testicle feeling heavier than the other
  • Collection of fluid.

How to look after my balls

Check your balls about once a month.
Check for lumps
Check for swelling, and check to see is one ball is getting larger?
Do you have any pain or discomfort?
A good way to check yourself is in the shower, where you are warm.
Ask for help straight away if you find something wrong.
Don’t wait! Go and see your doctor straight away.

 

Don’t wait! Go and see your doctor straight away.

Female Health: Breast Awareness

When you are age 50 you will be offered Breast Screening appointments every 3 years.

This page helps you make sure your breasts are healthy.
You need to know what is normal for you, how your breasts look and feel.

Below are the changes you should look out for

These pictures have been taken from a great website about women’s health called The Pink Ribbon Foundation.

Any changes in size or shape.
A change in skin texture such as dimpling or puckering.
Any lumps or a lumpy area • which may not be visible but which can be felt.
Any change to the nipple in appearance or direction.
A discharge from one or both nipples or any rash or crusting of the nipple or surrounding area.
Any pain or swelling in the breast area, armpit or collarbone.

What to do if you find something NEW

If you are checking yourself and you find something that wasn’t there before, arrange to see a doctor.

Arrange to see your doctor or community nurse. They will know what to do.

Ask a Pratice Nurse

You can ask your Practice Nurse to help you become breast aware and ask for a Breast Awareness Leaflet for visual help in how you check your breasts.

 

If you need extra support to prepare for a breast screening appointment, you can contact The Learning Disability Community Nurse Team on Telephone: 08451558077


Breast pictures from Pictures from Pink Ribbon Foundation. Other information produced by FAIR in association with Community Nurses for People with Learning Disabilities, Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust.

Keep your heart and yourself Healthy!!

This page will tell you the best ways to keep your heart healthy.

It is very important for all of us to look at the way we live! Eating too much of the wrong food, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, not getting enough exercise and being stressed out can all damage our hearts.
Keeping your heart healthy means you can keep doing the things you like, and enjoying life, for longer!

The heart of the matter!

Your heart is a muscle in your chest that pumps blood around your body. You need this to live!

If you eat too much of the wrong food, or smoke, or drink too much alcohol, or don’t get enough exercise, your heart could stop working properly. You could have a heart attack and die!
Your heart pumps blood around your body through tubes called arteries. They should be nice and clear.
Eating the wrong food, smoking and not getting enough exercise blocks these tubes with fat. They get narrower and your heart has to work extra hard to make the blood flow through them.

Smoking

Smoking is bad for your heart and lungs. The nicotine in cigarettes raises your blood pressure. People who smoke are often short of breath and cough a lot.
It makes you smelly too!
Once you start smoking it’s hard to stop, but there are people who can help if you want to.
Your doctor, community nurse or carer can all help you stop smoking, but you have to want to do it!

Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol is bad for you in lots of ways, but it’s very bad for your heart.

If you drink too much alcohol you will damage your heart and you may get other health problems or injure yourself.

You may also get drunk, which can cause problems too!

Drinking some alcohol is OK. It’s better to drink small amounts over a time than to drink a whole lot in one go. When you are out in the pub or at a party make each drink last a long time. Have a non-alcoholic drink in between the alcoholic ones.
You should have at least two days a week when you do not drink at all.

Food that’s good for you

One of the best ways to keep your heart healthy is to eat the right sort of food. You should eat five portions of fruit or vegetables each day to stay really healthy. This picture shows are some types of food that are good for you.
If you’re not sure what kind of food is good for you, ask your dietician, community nurse or doctor.

Food that’s bad for you

Greasy fatty food, like chips and pies, and sugary foods like sweets and chocolate are not very good for your heart.
Try not to add salt to your food. It’s probably tasty enough without it anyway! Try to cut out sugar altogether, but if you still need to sweeten your tea and coffee, you can try an artificial sweetener.

How much should you eat?

You should have proper sized portions when you eat. You can see below roughly how much that is. Sometimes people eat too much because they feel down. You’ll be a lot happier if you look and feel good!

How do you know if you have a weight problem?

People are all different shapes and sizes, so it’s hard sometimes to know if you are overweight.
Remember, being underweight is a problem as well! You need to eat more of the right food, and get some exercise.
If you’re not sure, you should ask your doctor for help. They will weigh you and take your blood pressure. This is a good way to tell if you need to lose weight and tell if your heart is OK.

Get some exercise!

One of the best ways to keep healthy and keep your weight down is to get regular exercise. You don’t have to do anything too difficult. A lot of things you do for fun are great exercise, like dancing, swimming or going for walks.
You can even do exercises while sitting watching the telly. Try lifting your feet off the ground and holding them there for the count of ten.
Housework is great exercise. Try a bit of hoovering and cleaning.

Are you stressed out?

One of the main causes of heart attacks is stress – worrying about things all the time and not taking it easy. People can get stressed over lots of things – changes in their lives, moving to a new home, not getting on with people, filling in forms, going to meetings… Aaargh!

Relax!

You can stop feeling stressed by taking time out to do things you enjoy. Listen to music, take a relaxing bath, have a nap.
Pets are great for relieving stress too!

Some people you can talk to

Some community nurses can offer you a free check-up in your own home. Your doctor should be able to help you get in touch with them. Your doctor can give you a check-up too.

 

FAIR in association with Community Nurses for People with Learning Disabilities, NHS Lothian. This work was made possible with support from the The Esmee Fairburn Trust and Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.