1 Get your flu jab if you’re at risk
Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting your flu jab. Those eligible for a free jab are people with certain long term conditions, including children, over 65s, carers and pregnant women. And don’t worry - you can’t get flu from the jab. Contact your surgery for further information.
2 You don’t need to go to the GP with a cold
If you get a cold you can usually look after yourself by resting, drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and avoiding strenuous activity. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can relieve aches and pains.
3 Make good use of your local pharmacy
Your local pharmacy can provide advice as well as over the counter remedies, and can help you decide whether you need to see a doctor.
4 Phone your surgery early if you need a same day response
Contact your surgery early in the day to alert them, this will enable them more time to assess your concerns than if you contact them late in the day.
5 Make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked up
Make sure you have stocks of cold remedies, painkillers, antiseptic cream and plasters. Always keep medicines out of the reach of children.
6 Get your repeat prescriptions in good time before the holidays
Your GP surgery will be closed on Bank Holidays and not all pharmacies will be fully open either, so make sure you pick up repeat prescriptions in advance – but don’t order things you don’t need.
7 Remember how to contact a doctor out of hours
If you think you need to see a doctor but your surgery is closed, just phone your usual surgery number and you will be redirected to the out-of-hours service. This is provided by local GPs and nurses working together, eg. as part of Derbyshire Health United.
8 Get to know the alternatives if you can’t see your GP
If your surgery is closed and you can’t wait for an appointment, you can go to:
• Derby Walk-in Centre, Osmaston Road
01332 224700 (8 till 7.30 every day)
• Derby Open Access Centre, St Thomas Road
01332 275610 (8 till 8 every day)
You can also call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Don’t forget that A&E is only for real emergencies, and you can be seen more quickly at these centres or by contacting the out of hours service via your usual GP surgery number.
9 Keep warm
To keep warm at home during the day, try to heat your main living room to around 18-21°C (64-70°F) and the rest of the house to at least 16°C (61°F). Set the timer on your heating 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. And don’t forget to wrap up warm if you do go out. Check the weather forecast so you are prepared.
10 Eat healthily
Food is a vital source of energy for everyone, which 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 stews and soups – and keep some tins in stock when snowy/icy weather is forecast.
'Stay Well this Winter' Campaign
For top tips on taking care of your health and staying warm during the cold winter weather, click on the following links:-
Cold Weather Plan - key Public Health self-help messages
Click on the tab below for information about the Derby Winter Friends project run in association with Community Action.