As Winter approaches there a number of things you can do to keep you and your loved ones well this winter, here's out top 5:
If you do need help over the winter, call 111 or visit NHS 111 online it's free to call from landlines and mobiles and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
NHS 111 is a non-emergency service you can use if you are unsure of which healthcare service you need to visit. It offers access to advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by phone and online and can connect callers to healthcare professionals, including nurses, emergency dentists or GPs.
The advisors at NHS111 can also arrange face-to-face appointments, and if assessed as needing an ambulance, send one directly. A call back by a clinician can also be requested using NHS111 online, based on health care need.
2. Get your flu jab
Flu is potentially a very serious illness, people might think that flu is just a cough or cold, but it can develop into a very significant illness; particularly in patients most at risk.
The flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself, and anyone you care for, from flu. NHS services across Sussex have been working hard together to prepare for the winter season. Staff have been getting their flu jab, and we’re urging that you, your children or relatives take up the free flu vaccine as soon as you can if you are in one of the eligible groups.
You are eligible for a free vaccination if you are:
- Over 65
- Living with a health condition (particularly heart or lung disease)
- A child aged two to ten years old.
- Children aged from 2 years up to 18 years in clinical risk groups
- The main carer of an older or disabled person.
- A frontline health or social care worker
Children can receive their vaccination as a nasal spray instead of a needle injection. Adults can get the vaccine via their GP, or, alternatively, at many local pharmacies.
More information is available on the NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk/staywell
3. Keep warm
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.
4. See a pharmacist early
If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious, get help from your pharmacist. The sooner you get advice the better – pharmacists are here to help you stay well this winter. Find your nearest pharmacy.
5. Stock up
If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or other medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start. Many GPs and pharmacies will close over the holidays. It’s also a good idea to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home to help you with pain relief and minor injuries.
NHS Help Us Help You - Stay Well This Winter - BSL leaflet
The Stay Well This Winter campaign can help you prepare for winter. Visit www.nhs.uk/staywell for more information.