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Preserving our health and that of others

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The winter months see more cases of illness The winter months see more cases of illness

It is with much happiness that I rejoin Independent Nurse which has continued to go from strength to strength in my absence. Mike Shallcross has done a great job with the help of Seeta Bhardwa and Alex Turnbull, and I return to a stronger team.

At least editorially, if not physically. The whole IN team, and many of our colleagues, are beleagured by debilitating colds, coughs and sinus problems. True to the spirit of Self-Care Week last week, we are gamely carrying on regardless (with the help of caffeine, OTC formulations, and water) but have probably decimated a small rainforest somewhere with our demand for tissues.

The fact that so many healthy, able bodies have been taken down in this office is a sobering reminder of the impact the change in weather can have on everyone's health. This, in turn, puts huge pressure on the NHS to meet high demand and alleviate health concerns. As patient volumes increase, so will the pressure to prescribe antibiotics, often for problems that will not be helped by them. This was reflected last week during Antibiotic Awareness Week, which aimed to strengthen the resolve of GPs and nurse prescribers to resist the urge to prescribe on a ‘just-in-case’ basis and increase awareness of antibiotic resistance among the general public.

These two weeks carry vital messages that primary care nurses can reinforce in patients: that reliance on prescribed medication is not always the best care plan. Instead, understanding your symptoms and taking steps to preserve your health can reap greater rewards, both for the patient and those at the frontline of public health.

Rita Som, Editor, Independent Nurse

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