Stay Well This Winter
Non-urgent advice: We’re here to help you stay well this winter
Some important information from the NHS to help you stay well this winter.
Help us Help You – Your health matters
We’re here to help you stay well this winter.
Winter conditions can be bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions such as heart or kidney disease, COPD (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis), asthma or diabetes.
Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses. But there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.
Suspect you have COVID-19?
If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 it’s important you get tested as soon as possible:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normalIf you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, even if they’re mild:
• get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) as soon as possible to check if you have COVID-19
You can apply for a test online via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, or by calling 119. If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, the serviceis available by textphone or Relay UK on 18001 119 and the NHS 119 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service at www.signvideo.co.uk/nhs119
If you are getting a test because you have symptoms, you must stay at home until you get your result. Anyone in your support bubble who hasn’t received both vaccinations must also stay at home.
If you need medical advice about your symptoms, use the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service 111.nhs.uk/covid-19, or contact NHS 111 by calling 111. This service is also available by textphone or Relay UK on 18001 111 and NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service via www.nhs.uk/111
Feeling unwell and it’s not COVID-19 symptoms?
For minor health concerns, your local pharmacy team can help. If you can’t get to a pharmacy yourself, ask someone to go for you or call them.
Don’t delay, the sooner you get advice, the better.
For urgent health concerns, you can contact NHS 111 by phone or online.
GP practices offer remote consultations online or by phone. If you need a face-to-face appointment, they will tell you what to do.
If you need medical help fast or think you need to
go to an Emergency Department (A&E), are worried about your symptoms or you’re not sure what to do, go straight to NHS 111. The service is available online at 111.nhs.uk and also by phone, textphone or
Relay UK and NHS 111 BSL interpreter service.
We tell you more about NHS services at the end of this leaflet.
COVID-19 booster vaccinations
The COVID-19 booster programme is the rollout of an additional vaccine dose to people who have previously received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. It will ensure continued protection for those most at risk.
Booster vaccinations will be given no earlier than six months after completion of the first course of vaccination. We strongly recommend you have the booster to ensure you have maximum protection ahead of the winter months.
The NHS will invite eligible people to book their booster vaccine when it is their turn.
For more information visit
Make sure you get your flu vaccination
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.
That’s why the flu vaccine is free if you’re aged 50 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition.
If you have young children or grandchildren they may also be eligible for a free nasal spray vaccination.
If you are pregnant you are eligible for a free flu vaccination at any time in your pregnancy; ask your
GP practice, pharmacist or midwife. And if you are the main carer of an older or disabled person, you may also be eligible for the free flu vaccine. Just speak to your GP practice or pharmacist. You can also find more information at www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine
Also, don’t forget that if you’re aged 65 or over, or have certain health conditions, you are eligible for the pneumococcal vaccine, which will help protect you from pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia. Ask your GP practice.
Non-urgent advice: NHS Volunteer Responders
NHS Volunteer Responders offer help to people who are self-isolating because they have COVID-19, or because they are avoiding public places because of this virus. If you don’t have other support you can get help for a four-week period to collect your shopping and prescriptions or to top up your energy meter (please note that you will need to pay for the shopping and energy credit). You can also arrange for a volunteer to ring up for a friendly chat. If you need help call 0808 196 3646.
Also available by textphone or Relay UK on 18001 0808 196 3646.
Six things we recommend you do:
- Make sure you get your flu vaccination.
- Come forward for your COVID-19 booster when offered.
- Keep your home at 18°C (65°F) or higher if you can.
- Take advantage of financial schemes and discounts to help you pay for heating.
- Contact NHS 111 online or by phone if you are worried about any symptoms.
- Look out for other people who may need a bit of extra help over the winter.
Where to go for the right medical help
Dial 999 for life-threatening emergencies
You can text the emergency services on 999 but you need to register your phone in advance. To find out more go to emergencysms.org.uk
Contact NHS 111
If you need medical help fast or think you need to go to an Emergency Department (A&E) use NHS 111 first – online at 111.nhs.uk or by phone – to get clinical advice or direction to the most appropriate services for treatment.
This service is also available by textphone or Relay UK on 18001 111 and NHS 111 BSL interpreter service via www.nhs.uk/111
GP, Pharmacy and www.nhs.uk
For all other health needs, contact your pharmacy or GP practice. You can also access NHS advice and information at www.nhs.uk
A reminder of NHS 111 and 119 services
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, get tested as soon as possible; apply via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, or call 119. The service is also available by textphone or Relay UK on
18001 119 and NHS 119 BSL interpreter service atwww.signvideo.co.uk/nhs119
If you are worried about your symptoms, use the NHS 111 coronavirus service at 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or contact 111 if you cannot get help online.