Winter can put a strain on our health with icy weather, seasonal ailments and emotional stress.
Find out more about how to stay well this winter at nhs.uk.
Your health and wellbeing
Download the free app Ask NHS for a symptom checker and access to the most appropriate GP appointment. If you think it’s urgent or are unsure, contact 111.nhs.uk or give them a call.
If you feel unwell, don’t wait until it gets worse – ask a pharmacist. Order repeat prescriptions in advance of holidays and get over the counter medicines to treat winter ailments at home.
Make sure you know what to do when severe weather is forecast. The Met Office issues weather warnings based on the level of impact the weather may cause and the likelihood of it occurring. Follow @twitgritter for gritting updates in Bucks.
Look out for older relatives or neighbours – help them avoid falling in icy weather and check they are warm and eating well. Learn more about the Winter Fuel Payment.
If you spot a rough sleeper and they're aged over 18 years, you should send an alert to StreetLink. They will try to find the person and connect them to support.
If they look or are under 18 years old, call the police. Do not contact StreetLink.
NHS 111 – when you need urgent medical help
If you have an non- emergency, but urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, contact 111.nhs.uk or give them a call. They're open 24/7.
Depending on your symptoms you’ll:
- find out what local service can help you
- get an appointment if you need one – this could be at the Wycombe Urgent Treatment Centre or even with your own GP
- be told how to get any medicine you need
- get self-care advice
The Bucks Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) site has further Help Us Help You winter advice.
Winter vaccination – boost your immunity
If you are offered a winter vaccination (COVID-19 or flu) take it. It helps reduce the likelihood of serious illness and spreading to others who may be at more risk than you.
Some people get a free flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine is free to all.
When invited, get your free flu jab and COVID-19 booster vaccine ahead of winter. The NHS have created a video to explain the importance of taking the vaccines.
More locally you can view up to date information on the CCG site.
This will tell you where walk-in clinics are, if the mobile Health on the Move van is near you and where pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites are.
Don’t wait until it gets worse – ask a pharmacist
Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can provide help with minor health concerns.
As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and suggest over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.
If symptoms suggest it's something more serious, pharmacists have the right training to make sure you get the help you need and tell you if you need to see a GP.
Pharmacists also offer:
- late night and weekend opening hours. You don't need an appointment – you can just walk in
- a private consultation room (at many sites) where you can discuss issues with without being overheard
Watch the following videos for more information.
- Pharmacists are healthcare experts (YouTube) – a video highlighting the skills and expertise of pharmacists
- Mo’s medicine journey from hospital to home (Vimeo) – this excellent video explains what help is available if you go to hospital and have any questions about your medicines