There are a number of ways you can help take care of yourself and your family especially during winter:
- If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or a cold, don't wait until it gets more serious - make a stop at your local pharmacy for health advice and treatment without an appointment
- If you have been prescribed medication, don't forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start. Many GP's and pharmacies will close over the holiday period.
- Older neighbours, relatives, friends and other elderly members of the community are more vulnerable in the winter months and may need a bit of extra help this winter, so make sure you keep in touch, check if they are feeling under the weather, help them stock up on food supplies and make sure they have the necessary medication before the Christmas holidays start or a spell of bad weather
- The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly. If you are over 65, pregnant, have a long term health condition or are a child aged two, three, or four, or in school years one and two you are are entitled to a free vaccination. Just speak to your GP or get your free jab through a participating pharmacy. More information on the flu vaccine, who should have it and why can be found here. For an easy read version click here or to watch a video click here.
Advice and care is available much nearer to home than you might realise. Make a stop at the right service to make sure you get the help and treatment you need.
Need direction to urgent medical help?
For help in a matter of minutes, call NHS 111. NHS 111 has a team of trained staff, including nurses, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
You can call NHS 111 if you need urgent medical help.
You can be given the direction you need and be put through to a healthcare professional if needed.
Call NHS 111.
To watch an interactive video on when it may be best to call NHS 111 click here.
Some people with a learning disability, autism or both do not know what NHS 111 is. Click here for a short film for people with learning disabilities, autism or both which shows:
- what NHS 111 is for
- what to expect during a 111 call
- tips on how to have a good 111 call
Make a stop at your pharmacy for health advice and treatment – without an appointment.
You can speak to your pharmacist for help with:
- coughs, colds and flu
- allergies and hayfever
- aches and pains
- minor cuts and bruises
- insect bites and stings
Some pharmacies can even give you advice and treatment for:
- Giving up smoking
- Weight management
- Flu vaccinations
- Chlamydia testing
Visit your nearest pharmacy to learn more about what they can treat or visit www.nhs.uk.
To watch an interactive video which will help you decide when it may be best to visit your local pharmacy click here.
Your GP can help you with a range of health problems including minor injuries, stopping smoking and mental and emotional wellbeing.
You can now access GP appointments during evenings, weekends and over bank holidays by ringing your GP surgery as normal.
Or if you need urgent medical help you can contact NHS 111 who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
To watch an interactive video which will advise you where to go if your GP surgery is closed click here.
• Cold weather can be very harmful, especially for people aged 65 or older: it weakens the immune system, increases blood pressure, thickens the blood, and lowers body temperature; increasing the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections.
• It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression.
• Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can – you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer.
• Keep an eye out for elderly relatives and neighbours, and support them in the cold weather to help them Stay Well This Winter.
• The ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign aims to increase peoples’ understanding of the actions they can take to help the NHS to help them stay well over winter.
• Visit nhs.uk/staywell for helpful tips and advice.