Help us help you to stay well this winter
We have made changes to how we provide care to make it safer for you during the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re worried about your health, don’t delay – help us help you get the care you need 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
Flu can be serious and even deadly for older adults, very young children, and people with long-term health conditions. The vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious illness. If you’re in an eligible group – make sure you get vaccinated.
There are several types of flu vaccine, your GP or pharmacist will offer you one of the vaccines based on the recommendations for your age group.
Flu is serious and is different to the common cold. Symptoms include a high temperature, body aches and fatigue.
If you think you have flu, stay home and rest until you feel better. Call NHS 111 if you have a long-term health condition or feel really unwell.
Aside from having your flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the spread of flu is to practice good hand hygiene. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (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 3 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 normal
Do not wait, you need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.
You can apply for a test online via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus, or by calling 119. If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, the service is available by textphone on 18001 119 and the NHS 119 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter
service at: www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs119
If you are getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must stay at home until you get your result. Anyone in your support bubble must also stay at home.
If you need medical advice about your symptoms, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service 111.nhs.uk/covid-19, or call 111 if you can’t get online.
Where to access advice, medication and treatment
If you think you need urgent medical help and you don’t know what to do, call 111 for free from landlines and mobiles or go online to 111.nhs.uk.
NHS 111 gives you access to advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and if necessary, they can arrange for you to speak to relevant healthcare professionals, including nurses, emergency dentists, or even GPs.
The advisors can also arrange face-to-face appointments and if you are assessed as needing an ambulance, one will be sent directly.
At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious. Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you and can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal.
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.
For winter illnesses that aren’t going away with self-care make an appointment to see one of the healthcare professionals in your GP practice.
For routine appointments, your local GP practices are now also open longer so you can get the help you need more easily. Appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional are now available in the evening and weekend, at either your local practice or another nearby NHS service. You can access these appointments by contacting your usual GP practice or using the details below:
• For information on evening and weekend appointments in East Riding of Yorkshire, visit improvingaccess.co.uk
• For information on evening and weekend appointments in Hull, visit accessplus.org.uk
The out of hours GP service is available for patients between 6:30pm to 8:00am weekdays and all day on weekends and Bank Holidays, when doctors’ surgeries are closed.
If you need medical treatment that’s not an immediate emergency, but cannot wait until the next day then call NHS 111 to get an appointment with the out of hours GP.
Driffield and Withernsea both have 8 – 8 planned care centres that provide a low-level minor injury service for adults and children, two years and above.
If you have an injury that is not an emergency, it is important that you ring NHS 111 first. A professional will assess your symptoms and determine whether your injury is low-level and whether the 8 – 8 centre can meet your needs. Find our more on our 8-8 centres.
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, visit Story Street Medical Centre.
If you have an urgent injury or illness that is not serious, life or limb threatening, then the nearest Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) can provide assessment, advice and/or treatment.
Common conditions UTCs can treat are:
- Cuts and grazes
- Sprains and strains
- Simple broken bones
- Wound and wound infections
- Minor burns and scalds
- Minor head injuries
- Insect and animal bites
- Minor eye injuries (foreign bodies in eye)
- Minor back injuries
- Emergency contraception
- Skin infections/rashes/allergic reactions
- Urine infections
- Raised temperature/fever
Depending on your symptoms, UTCs can carry out blood tests and x-rays to get a better understanding of what is wrong and, if needed, prescribe medication and issue prescriptions for some conditions.
You can walk into UTC; however, we always recommend you ‘talk before you walk’ and call NHS 111. They will assess your symptoms, decide what medical help you need and advise where you need to go.
In Hull, Bransholme Health Centre has an Urgent Treatment Centre. Visit CHCP online for information (including x-ray opening hours)
NOTICE: Due to Coronavirus Bransholme, Beverley, Goole and Bridlington UTC opening times have temporarily changed to 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (including bank holidays).
In the East Riding of Yorkshire, there are three Urgent Treatment Centres, Beverley, Bridlington and Goole. Find the nearest one to you.
For life threatening and emergency situations, such as:
• Loss of consciousness
• Acute confused state
• Chest pain
• Breathing difficulties
• Severe bleeding
Call 999 or visit your nearest Accident and Emergency Department immediately.
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for your health, especially if you are aged 65 or older and have a long-term condition such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease.
The cold and damp weather can aggravate existing health problems and make you more vulnerable to respiratory winter illness. However, there are many things you can do to stay well and stop your condition becoming worse.
NHS Volunteer Responders offer help to people in need of support or who are avoiding public places during the pandemic. You can get help if you are currently not supported and need assistance with shopping, a prescription collection, topping up energy meters or a friendly chat. If you need help, call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm).
Keeping yourself, and others, well this winter
It’s important to keep warm in winter, both indoors and outdoors. Keeping warm can help prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Some top tips are:
- Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F)
- Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights
- Keep active when you’re indoors
- Wear several layers of light clothes
East Riding residents
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Healthy Homes scheme offers help to private sector residents who have long term illnesses and are finding it hard to fully fund heating systems/repairs and insulation in their homes.
People who actually need help are often the least likely to ask for it. By working with community professionals, we can offer practical help and advice about heating and insulation to the people who need it most.
We receive referrals from community professionals (for people who meet the scheme’s criteria), such as health and social care workers, welfare agencies and charitable organisations.
If you know someone with a long-term illness, who may need help with repairing a broken heating system, installing a new one or fitting insulation, that can’ pay for the work in full themselves, and you think we could help.
Contact details: Healthy Homes Team, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Town Hall, Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, YO16 4LP
Phone number: 01482 396358/396301
Webpage: Healthy Homes Team
Hull City Council residents
Hull City Council’s Warm Homes Team provide a dedicated fuel poverty and energy efficiency advice service with the primary aim of reducing fuel poverty and improving the energy efficiency of homes in the city.
They are here to help vulnerable householders to keep warm and keep well at home by providing a free, impartial advice service and access to packages relevant support.
Community professionals can also refer clients for help and support where concerns have been identified.
Warm Homes Team can offer:
- Energy efficiency advice
- Grant funded improvements such as insulation and heating systems/repairs
- Support services
- Additional help from local partners/organisations
Warm Homes Team, Floor 2, Warehouse 9, Guildhall Road, Hull, HU1 1HA
Phone number: 01482 300300
Many over the counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibuprofen) are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments, such as colds, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache).
Talk to your pharmacist for advice on what medicines you should have in your cabinet to get the relief you need straight away.
If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics or any other medication, make sure you take them as directed and finish your course.
Don’t forget to get your prescription medicines before your pharmacy or GP practice closes for Christmas too.
You can order repeat prescriptions online – ask your GP reception team about signing up to online services, including booking appointments, accessing test results and ordering repeat prescriptions.
Elderly neighbours, friends and family members may need a little extra help over winter. Look out for people who are frailer than you by:
- Keeping in touch and asking if they need any practical help, or if they’re feeling under the weather.
- Making sure they’re stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they can’t go out.
- Making sure they order their prescription medicines before the Christmas holidays start or if bad weather is forecast.
The winter months can be an isolating time – keeping in touch and looking out for one another can help people feel better supported and not so alone. Taking the time to have a cup of tea with an elderly neighbour, or popping round to see a family member could make all the difference to how someone is feeling.
For more support and advice around loneliness and isolation visit Age UK here.