1. Get your flu jab if you’re at risk

Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting your flu jab. Some are eligible for a free jab. These are children and adults under 65 with long term conditions; the over 65s; carers; two to four year olds and pregnant women. Remember, you can’t get flu from the jab.

Contact your surgery to book your flu jab or for further information.

  1. If you’ve got a cold, you don’t need to go to the GP

You can usually look after yourself by resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can relieve aches and pains. If you have flu-like symptoms, you don’t need to go to your GP unless you are in one of the at-risk groups.

  1. Prevent Norovirus or Winter Vomiting Bug spreading

Don’t go to the doctor or the hospital, because Norovirus is contagious. Avoid public places whilst unwell and for 72 hours after symptoms cease. Make sure you wash your hands regularly and use an anti-bacterial cleaner in your home. Phone your GP or call 111 for advice if symptoms last longer than a few days or you already have a serious illness.

  1. Make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked up

Stocks of cold remedies, painkillers, antiseptic cream and plasters can help you to treat yourself. Always keep medicines out of reach of children.

  1. Get your repeat prescriptions in good time

Your GP surgery will be closed on Bank Holidays and not all pharmacies will be fully open, so make sure you pick up repeat prescriptions in advance – but don’t order things you don’t need.

  1. Make good use of pharmacies

Pharmacies can provide advice as well as over the counter remedies and can help you decide whether or not you need to see a doctor.

  1. Need a same day response from your GP?

Phone early in the day to alert them, as this will give them more time to assess your concerns.

  1. What if you can’t see your GP?

If you think you need to see a doctor but your surgery is closed or you can’t get an appointment, just phone 111. You can call 111 for advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it’s free. You can also go to your nearest Walk In or Urgent Care Centre and get seen quickly, but don’t forget A&E is only for life threatening emergencies.

  1. Keep warm

To keep warm your main living room should be 18-21°C and the rest of the house to at least 16°C. Set the timer to come on before you get up and switch off when you go to bed, and in very cold weather, set the heating to come on earlier, rather than turning the heat up. If you feel cold at night, use a hot water bottle or electric blanket – but never use both together. Don’t forget to wrap up warm if you do go out. Check the weather forecast so you are prepared.

  1. Eat healthily

Food is a vital source of energy for everyone and helps to keep your body warm. Try to make sure you have hot meals and drinks regularly throughout the day and keep in touch with your friends, family and neighbours in case they have not been able to get out to the shops. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – try them in hearty warming stews, soups and curries – you can freeze some or keep tins of food in stock for when snow or icy weather is forecast.

For more information on Staying Well this Winter visit the Stay Well Derbyshire website.