Help us to help you... have a healthy, happy winter

Feeling healthy and happy during winter can be a struggle for many of us – darker days, cold weather, and seasonal bugs. And that’s without Covid to contend with as well, with all of the challenges the virus brings in terms of illness and disruption.
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The NHS is always there for anyone who needs help, but at times like these it is more important than ever that everyone thinks carefully about where they can get the help they need, and how they can keep themselves well.

Here are some top tips for a healthy winter this year:

  • Get jabbed – whenever you’re invited: Please make sure you accept invitations for a Covid jab, and a flu jab if you are eligible. Vaccines are simply the best defence any of us have against catching these illnesses, and from suffering more severe illness if we are infected.
  • Be prepared: illness or minor injury can strike at any time, so be ready. Have some basic supplies of over-the-counter medicines to hand, and always make sure you’re up to date with your prescriptions. More information about treating common illnesses is here
  • Know your options: if you know you need help, but you’re not sure where to turn, why not let the experts help? You can contact your GP surgery by phone or online, visit http://111.nhs.uk to get expert NHS advice without having to leave home, or pop into  local pharmacy for advice and medicines. There is lots more information here.
  • Keep yourself warm: staying warm is essential to staying healthy. If you are struggling to heat or insulate your home, or need advice about your bills or anything else, then help is at hand. Hampshire County Council runs an advice line – 0800 8048601 – or you can find out more online here

GP surgeries, NHS 111, Emergency Departments (ED), mental health services, community teams, ambulance crews and call handlers – staff in all sectors of the NHS in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are seeing a sustained trend of rising demand after the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Matt Nisbet, GP and associate clinical director for the Hampshire, Southampton, and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Staff across the NHS have been humbled and heartened by the support they have received from the public over the last 18 months – it really has been amazing to see.

“This is our second ‘Covid winter’, and we know from last year that we will all need to pull together and help each other. The NHS will absolutely be there for everyone who needs us, but there are some simple things that people can do to help themselves, too. I would urge everyone to take up invitations for vaccines, stock their medicine cabinet, use the new online 111 advice service, and get help to keep warm if needed. Even simple things like this can make a real difference.”

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