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Stay well this winter

With dark nights and cold weather creeping in, it’s a good time to be thinking about how you and your family can stay well this winter.

On this page you can find some top tips.  There is lots more advice on the NHS Stay Well website, including how to wipe out winter tiredness and how to protect yourself from the most common winter illnesses.

If you do become unwell over the winter period, our community-based staff are working hard to keep you out of hospital and #HealthyAtHome.  Over the next few months, we'll be sharing some examples of how we're achieving this on FacebookTwitter, our website and in the press.

Top tips to stay well

Keep warm

Keeping yourself warm and cosy indoors may help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia. If you can, heat your home to least 18 degrees C or (65F). 

Some people are eligible for a grant towards heating their home.  Visit the Gov.UK website for further details.

Age UK has also developed some top tips to help older people to stay warm and well.

Eat well

Food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. Try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day. 

It's also important to make sure that any vulnerable or frail friends, family or neighbours are eating well.  If someone you know is struggling, why not take around a hot meal for them to enjoy?

Feeling blue? Our staff can help!

While it may be the season for blue fingers and toes, many people also find themselves ‘feeling blue’ during the winter months.

Typical symptoms of anxiety and depression include low mood, lack of motivation, tearfulness, feeling worried, change in appetite or weight, lack of energy, disturbed sleep patterns and avoiding social situations.

Our Healthy Minds teams provide a wide range of help and support to help you overcome low mood, stress and worry.  They have developed some top tips for good mental health and wellbeing.  Click here to read these tips.

You can also follow Healthy Minds on Twitter @HealthyMindsPC

For young people aged up to 19 years, who live in the Rochdale borough, the #Thrive service can help.  

Protect yourself from flu

A free flu vaccine is available to people who are particularly at risk of infection and complications from flu. This includes:

  • Children aged two to six years
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 65 or over
  • Children and adults with a long-term condition
  • Carers

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible, speak to your GP practice.  If you don’t fall into one of the above categories, you can still have your flu jab at many pharmacies and supermarkets at a cost of around £10 to £20.

It’s also important that healthcare professionals do their bit to protect people from flu, because estimates show that up to one in four may become infected, even in a mild flu season, and then pass it on.  This is why we offer a free flu vaccine to all of our staff every year.

This year we've launched a new FLUperhero campaign, as a light hearted way to raise awareness of an important issue.  We're encouraging our staff to have a flu vaccine and join the FLUperheros.

Childhood illness and wellbeing advice

A dedicated online resource is available that provides lots of helpful advice about what to do if your baby or child is ill, or has an injury.  It includes a guide on how to care for your child at home, when you should seek advice from a health visitor or doctor and when to use emergency services.  Click here to visit the online resource.

Winter driving hints and tips

If you can avoid driving in the ice and snow, it's best to stay warm and safe at home.  However, if you have to head out in your car, here are some useful hints and tips for safe winter driving - developed by those fab folk in our Emergency Planning Team.

Be prepared

Plan ahead and remember to check the opening hours of your local pharmacy over the Christmas break.

Make sure you have enough of your prescription medicines to see you through, or make a note to collect a supply before pharmacies close on Christmas Eve.

It can also be a good idea to stock up on winter food supplies in case the weather takes a turn for the worse and to look out for elderly or frail friends, neighbours and relatives who may struggle to get out to the shops in icy conditions.

Choose well - a guide to services

Self care:

Winter can be the season for coughs and colds but it’s a good idea to nip those niggles in the bud, especially if you are prone to illness or have a long-term condition.

At the first sign of a winter illness, your local pharmacist can often help - saving you a trip to your GP. 

NHS 111:

You can call 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice, but it's not a life-threatening situation.


If you need to see a doctor, you can contact your own GP.  Extended hours are offered in some areas.

Urgent care centres:

If you can't get an appointment with your own GP, you can visit your nearest walk in centre or urgent care centre.  Some are led by GPs and others by nurses.  Please click on the links to find out more about some local centres.

For details of other services visit the NHS Choices website

Accident and emergency:

Accident and emergency and 999 is for life threatening illnesses and injuires only!

Christmas advice

Christmas is a time of the year when we're often told to be happy, merry and full of festive cheer. Unfortunately, many people also experience loneliness, anxiety and other unhappy feelings during the holidays.

For those spending the festive period alone this year, loneliness and social anxiety can make that 'Christmassy feeling' appear a world away.

From planning an online Christmas to volunteering at your local soup kitchen, there are lots of creative ideas to banish loneliness and anxiety this Christmas. Click here to read more.

Support for young people

Christmas dinners and family gatherings are not always cause for celebration for young people – especially those who have an eating disorder, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), depression or anxiety.

National charity YoungMinds has created an inspiring blog with stories from young people about how they cope with the demands of Christmas.

The website also contains brilliant advice on how to deal with fears of overeating, the pressure to always be happy, and just generally managing the organised chaos of Christmas time. Click here to read more.

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