The cold weather can aggravate existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to illnesses that are common in winter.
There are lots of things you can do to help you and your family stay well this winter.
Get your flu jab
Flu strikes in winter and can be more serious than you think.
If you already have a long-term condition or are more susceptible to illness, it can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia and can be deadly.
That’s why the flu jab is free if you’re aged 65 or over, or if you have a long-term health condition.
Children aged two, three or four, or in Years 1 and 2 at school are also eligible, as are pregnant women and people in long-term residential care.
Get early advice if you’re feeling unwell
If you have a long-term condition or are aged 65 or over, a minor ailment can worsen rapidly.
So if you’re feeling under the weather, don’t wait – get advice from your nearest pharmacist, or ask someone to go for you.
Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action, so make sure you go as soon as you start to feel unwell.
Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems.
So make sure you heat your home to 18°C (65°F) if you can. Also, keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights as breathing cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
Make sure you’re receiving all the help you’re entitled to with your heating costs.
Find out how to make your home more energy efficient and keep up with your energy bills:
Get your medicine cabinet ready for winter
Most common winter ailments such as a cold, sore throat, cough or earache can’t be treated with antiobiotics.
The best thing to do is to rest, drink plenty of fluids and have at least one hot meal a day to keep your energy up.
Speak to your local pharmacist for advice on the medicines to have in your cabinet to help you get through the winter season.
And remember, if you’re prescribed medication, such as antibiotics, make sure you finish the course.
Look out for others
Older neighbours, friends and family may need a bit of extra help over the winter.
Icy pavements and roads can stop people getting out and about, so keep in touch with friends and family and ask if they need any practical help.
That might include making sure they have enough food and have warm clothes to wear if they do need to go out.
Also make sure they have enough prescription medicines to last the holiday period.
Get prescription medicines well in advance
If you have a repeat prescription, make sure you have enough medicine to last you over the holiday period.
Order repeat prescriptions in good time and make sure your collect your medicines while your pharmacy is open.
Details of Christmas and New Year opening times will be published on this website as soon as they are available
Call NHS 111 for help and advice
If you need help for a minor injury or illness over the holiday, call NHS 111 for advice and information about local NHS services available to you.
Many local NHS services including pharmacists and minor injury units are open over the holiday period and can provide fast, local treatment and advice for non-emergency illnesses and injuries.
Out of hours GP services are also available and many GPs can provide advice over the phone.
Remember, A&E is for life-threatening emergencies. At these times, don’t hesitate, call 999 or go straight to your local A&E department.
For more advice, visit nhs.uk/staywell and if you are injuried or feeling unwell but aren’t sure what to do, call NHS 111, free, at any time of day or night.
Yate Minor Injury Unit – Opening Times
Staff at Yate Minor Injuries Unit are urging people to be prepared for minor illnesses this Winter and stock up the home medicine cabinet.
Sirona care & health, a not-for-profit social enterprise, which runs the Minor Injuries Unit is supporting the national Stay Well This Winter campaign.
Carrie Wedgwood, Head of Sirona’s Specialist Services, said: “Most common winter ailments such as a cold, sore throat, cough or earache can’t be treated with antibiotics. The best thing to do is to rest, drink plenty of fluids, take pain relief as required and have at least one hot meal a day to keep your energy up.
“If you need advice then do speak to your local pharmacist who can help you with information on the medicines to have in your cabinet to help you get through the winter season.
“And remember, if you’re prescribed medication such as antibiotics; make sure you finish the course.
“The key message is for people to choose well – you can call NHS 111 free for advice and information 24 hours a day; pharmacists and out of hours GP services are also available over bank holidays.
“For a genuinely life-threatening situation then call 999 or go straight to A&E. The Minor Injuries Unit is there to treat you for injuries sustained within the last two weeks, for example, sprains and strains cuts and grazes; arm, lower leg and foot injuries; bites; minor burns and scalds; minor head injuries; nose and eye injuries.”
To find the nearest service to you visit www.nhs.uk/staywell
Infection Control Notice
To prevent the spread of infection, if you have an appointment but are feeling unwell or have any infectious conditions (rash, diarrhoea or vomiting) please do not visit the department, and call the appointments team to rearrange your appointment.