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Keep well – “Be Winter Ready” advice from the HSE in the South East

The HSE in the South East is reminding people to keep well this winter.

The HSE’s “Be Winter Ready” advice comes as the government, other statutory agencies, the Gardai and local authorities across counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford are also promoting important messages around issues like road safety, preparing the home, health and well-being, advice for older people, and details of important emergency contacts.

The Chief Officer of HSE/South East Community Healthcare Grace Rothwell says:

“We think a bit more about our health over Winter. We see an increase in colds, the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Flu and other viruses but there are steps you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones.”

“Whether with periods of adverse weather or otherwise through the winter, we in the HSE would like to emphasise tips on staying well, remind people to be registered with a GP and liaise with your local pharmacy, understand your medicines, top up with your immunities against COVID-19 and Flu. Children, older people, pregnant women, people with a disability and those with a long-term illness are particularly affected and the health service is here for you and your family, from routine appointments to urgent care. Bear in mind the treatment options open to you – such as checking out the advice per on how to protect yourself and your family during winter, managing common illnesses and when to get help.”

Dr. Jacinta Mulroe (Specialist in Public Heath Medicine in the Department of Public Health HSE Dublin and South East) advises:

“The Flu vaccine is safe and effective. It helps to protect you from flu. If you can’t get the Flu, you can’t spread the Flu. Less Flu in the community, of course also alleviates pressure on emergency departments of hospitals and GP practices. As Doctors we recommend these vaccines, as they offer significant health benefits and protect people from these illnesses.”

The significance of the vaccination programme in saving people from serious illness and death from Covid19 is highlighted by recent research undertaken by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on the impact of the COVID19 vaccine programme in Ireland on reducing deaths and hospitalisations. Between December 2021 and March 2023, the study estimates that the vaccination programme prevented 87% of deaths, 81% of hospitalisations and 89% of ICU admissions that would have been expected to occur in the absence of vaccination.”

Derval Howley (Head of Service/Health and Wellbeing, HSE/South East Community Healthcare) adds a simple reminder:

“In the event of severe weather warnings, make sure to stock up on your fuel, food, fluid and your pharmacy requirements. Stay safe!”  

Anne Donaghey (Head of Service/Mental Health, HSE/South East Community Healthcare) draws attention to another significant part of keeping well:

“In the winter months, it’s important to look after your mental health, as well as your physical health. If you have any concerns in relation to your mental health, there are a number of resources supported by the HSE that you can turn to. There’s a free text service on 50808 and it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and as a safe space to share anonymously, trained volunteers will engage with you. You can also check out or Freephone our information line on (1800) 111 888 any time, day or night.”

Last updated on: 20 / 11 / 2023