We all know that the cold weather can be bad for our health, but there are a number of things you can do to help you and your family stay well this winter:
Remember, if you have a long-term health condition like: COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart or kidney disease or have suffered a stroke, cold weather can make health problems like these far worse. If you start to feel unwell, at the first signs of symptoms of winter respiratory illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious.
If you, or someone you know, become unwell this winter it is important to know where to go to get medical treatment and advice:
Often over the counter remedies can successfully treat coughs, colds and stomach upsets, plus a range of other minor illnesses. Be prepared by keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home; for further information please click here.
For non-emergencies call 111 for quick medical advice. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones.
Pharmacists offer free advice on a number of illnesses and can recommend which medicines to take. No appointment is needed. To find a pharmacy near you, click here.
If you take regular medication, it's important to order your prescription in plenty of time and make sure you have enough to last over weekends and bank holidays. For further information please click here.
In Hull, people who do not pay for prescriptions can visit a number of pharmacies to receive free-of-charge medication without having to see their GP first. Further information about the scheme is available here.
Make an appointment with your GP if you have an illness or injury which won’t go away, but which isn’t an emergency. Your GP or nurse will be able to treat and manage a number of symptoms and can make a referral to hospital if needed. Find out more here.
If you are not registered with a GP, please click here to find GP services close to you.
In Hull, you can visit Story Street Medical Practice, between 8am – 8pm without an appointment. The practice sees both registered and unregistered patients and is open 7 days a week and over bank holidays. For more information, click here.
Story Street Medical Practice, Wilberforce Health Centre, 6 – 10 Story Street, Hull, HU1 3SA. 01482 335180
The out of hours GP service is available for patients when doctors surgeries are closed from 6.30pm to 8.00am weekdays and all day at weekends and on Bank Holidays. If you need medical treatment that’s not an immediate emergency, but cannot wait until the next day then access the out of hours GP by calling 111. Find out more here.
If you have a minor injuries, which requires treatment but which is not an emergency then visit a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU). Patients over 12 months old can be seen as the MIU and treated by highly skilled nurse practitioners for injuries including:
For life threatening and emergency situations, such as: loss of consciousness, acute confused state, fits, chest pain, breathing difficulties and severe bleeding, call 999 or visit your closest A&E or Emergency Department (ED) immediately.
Being prepared for the cold weather and keeping warm, can help make you less vulnerable to illnesses that are more common in winter.
Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, and try to keep the room you spend most of your time in slightly warmer. Hull and East Riding Citizens Advice can help you to make sure you’re receiving all the help you’re entitled to for heating your home. The local Citizens Advice team have provided the following advice to make sure you're able to keep warm and keep well:
Did you know a third of elderly people never or only occasionally socialise with family or friends? This means that they can be slow at seeking help if they become unwell and it may increases their risk of developing further complications of becoming seriously ill.
Keep in touch with elderly relatives, neighbours and friends throughout the winter season. Even a little support goes a long way toward helping people to stay well this winter. There are a few simple things older people can do each year: get their flu jab, seek medical advice as soon as they need it and keep their home warm.
Keep well this winter by following this advice for common winter illnesses:
Remember: if you are aged over 65, pregnant or have a long term health condition then seek advice from a health professional as soon as you begin to feel unwell.
If at any point you’re worried about your common winter illness symptoms seek medical advice by calling NHS 111, free from UK landlines and mobiles, or speak to a local pharmacist about how you can treat your symptoms.
If you’re over 65, pregnant or have a long term health condition then seek advice from a health professional as soon as you begin to feel unwell.
Many GP surgeries and pharmacies will be closed over the Christmas and New Year bank holiday period, if you take regular medication make sure to collect your prescription in plenty of time before the services are closed.
For more information visit the NHS choices website here.