As winter approaches, common winter illnesses such as cold and flu begin to circulate and a drop in temperature can make some health conditions worse – but cold weather doesn't have to go hand in hand with illness. Here are some simple things you can do to help yourself stay well this winter.
Have your flu jab
Anyone over 65, pregnant women, children aged between 2 and 5, people with long term conditions and carers are all entitled to a free flu jab. You can have your flu jab at your GP practice or pharmacist. The flu virus changes every year, so it is important to be vaccinated each year.
If you are not eligible for a free flu vaccination and would like to get vaccinated, speak to your pharmacist.
Choose the right care
Christmas, New Year and the winter period in general are typically extremely busy times for health services. You can help your local NHS and ensure you get the treatment you need when you need it, if you think carefully about where to go for advice and treatment.
Many common winter ailments such as coughs, colds, sore throat, tummy ache and sprains can be treated at home. Pharmacists can also offer advice and treatment for a number of minor illnesses and injuries.
If your condition is more serious, you can make an appointment to see your GP or if you need to be seen right away, you can visit a walk-in or urgent care centre.
If you have a life-threatening condition, serious accident or need emergency treatment, you should go to A&E or call 999.
If you are need help urgently, but are unsure where to go – you should call 111.
To find out how to access the right service, watch our 'Play Your Care Right' show.
Its really important that (when you need some help from a health service), that you access the correct service for your current needs. Accessing the correct service will usually mean that you will be seen quicker and by the health care person who is best able to help you.
View the Stay Well this Winter leaflet pdf here (297 KB)
Winter Warmer Recipes
A tasty and healthy winter is in store for the residents of Sandwell and West Birmingham thanks to a new NHS ‘winter warmers’ recipe book.
NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG has produced the book, which not only includes a number of recipes for nutritious and delicious dishes, but is also packed with helpful advice and information on staying well this winter.
The CCG is also delighted as Ella Mills, known worldwide as Deliciously Ella, has supported the idea and has produced two recipes for the book, one of which is a Christmas recipe not currently available in any of her books.
Keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable neighbours
Winter can be a particularly lonely time for elderly and vulnerable people. Darker, longer nights and bad weather conditions can prevent people from getting out and about and can lead to isolation. Keeping an eye on, and visiting, elderly and vulnerable family, friends and neighbours can help to keep them well.
12 Days of Christmas
Coming soon......our 12 Days of Christmas animation.....