Information for patients
Our A&E staff are working very hard to treat patients quickly. You can help by only coming in to our emergency departments in a real emergency.
Heatwave: how to cope in hot weather
The main risks posed by a heatwave are:
- not having enough water (dehydration)
- overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
- heat exhaustion and heatstroke
Tips for coping in hot weather
- keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped
- avoid the heat: stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, especially the young and elderly
- wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes
- keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this is not possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter)
- if possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping
- have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water
- drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Water, lower-fat milks and tea and coffee are good options
- if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
- check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
- If you have concerns about an uncomfortably hot house that’s affecting your health or someone else’s, get medical advice.
You can also get help from the environmental health office at your local authority. They can inspect a home for hazards to health, including excess heat.
You can often treat the flu without seeing your GP and should begin to feel better in about a week. Check if you have flu Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
- a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- dry, chesty cough
- sore throat
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- nausea and being sick
The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
How to treat flu yourself
To help you get better more quickly:
- rest and sleep
- keep warm
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
- drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)
Norovirus (Vomiting bug)
Norovirus, also called the “winter vomiting bug”, is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about 2 days.
Check if you have norovirus
The main symptoms of norovirus are:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- being sick (vomiting)
You may also have:
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- a headache
- aching arms and legs
The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.
How to treat norovirus yourself
You can usually treat yourself or your child at home. Read about how to treat diarrhoea and vomiting in children and adults.
You should start to feel better in a day or two.
Stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for 2 days. Also avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time.
This is when you’re most infectious.
Let’s get you home
We are taking part in a big initiative to ensure that patients spend no longer than they need to in hospital. This means supporting them to return home safely or, if this is not possible, to move to a care home or supported housing once their treatment in hospital is complete.
We have a duty to ensure that beds are occupied only by people who need treatment there. The Let’s Get You Home initiative will help our trust have beds available when they are most needed, especially through the winter when more people are ill or have accidents.
Read more about Lets Get You Home – Patient Information Booklet