NHS Wales and the Welsh Government have launched a new ‘My Winter Health Plan’ scheme which aims to help people with long-term physical or mental health conditions provide vital information for visiting health professionals, allowing more people to be seen and treated at home and avoid unnecessary trips to A&E.
The scheme is intended to help empower people to take responsibility for their own health and care over winter by sharing key information about their health condition and support network with attending health and care staff in an easily accessible format.
The Plan can be used by anyone, but will be particularly beneficial for those living with a long-term physical or mental health problem, older people with health needs or anyone who may need support from health and care staff over the winter period.
Launching the scheme, NHS Wales Chief Executive Dr Goodall said: “Making the right choice of which services and treatments will save you time and make sure you and your family get the right care quickly. I know NHS staff will be working hard this winter. Choose well to help them help you.”
10,000 My Winter Health Plans which contain winter health and care tips are being distributed by health boards, local authorities and a number of key organisations.
Dr Goodall explained: “The aim of My Winter Health Plan is to provide people with chronic conditions, or their carers, with a form that they can display on their fridge or in an easy to see part of their home. If they then receive a home visit in an emergency from a health and care professional, family member or neighbour, that person will have useful key information to help them make a more informed decision on what action to take. It is anticipated that this will help avoid unnecessary journeys to hospital.”