Winter health – help the NHS help you
Published 28th October 2021
Female NHS nurse
It’s important to take action to look after your own health and the health of your friends and family too. 

Winter is always a busy time for the NHS and there are a huge range of services available, so knowing the best place to go to get the right help is really important. Check out the NHS website for advice on symptoms and the best source of help to meet your needs. 
Using the right NHS service first time is better for you and helps the NHS to make sure that resources are used in the best way.

There are things we can all do to be ready for whatever winter throws at us: 
•    Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home
•    If invited by your GP or offered it at school, get your flu vaccination
•    Follow COVID guidance and advice, including getting your vaccine or booster when invited
•    For colds and flu it is best to rest, keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and take painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
•    For sickness and diarrhoea, rest and drink plenty of fluids. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly and stay away from care homes and health settings when you are unwell, and for 48 hours after your symptoms end. 
•    Visit your pharmacist (chemist) for advice on medicines or when you are suffering from common ailments that don't need to be seen by a nurse or doctor, such as coughs, colds. 

If you have an illness that just won't go away make an appointment to see your GP or practice nurse or speak to them on the phone.

For 24-hour urgent health advice, including mental health help,  visit 111.nhs.uk or ring NHS 111.