Be healthy during winter

Simple steps we can all take to stay healthy as the temperature drops.

Stay flu free

For many people flu is unpleasant, but for some it carries a very serious risk of complications. People at-risk of flu are encouraged to have a free NHS flu vaccination. These include: 

  • people aged 65 years and over
  • patients aged from six months to 65 years in clinical ‘at risk’ groups
  • pregnant women
  • children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2020, all primary school children (reception to year 6) and all year 7 in secondary school
  • people in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers

You can stop yourself catching and spreading flu by following these simple steps:

  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  • regularly clean surfaces like your keyboard, phones and door handles
  • use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in a bin as soon as possible

For tips on how to stay flu-free, visit the NHS website.

If you are eligible for a free jab, or nasal spray vaccination contact your GP.

Understanding flu vaccinations

The NHS is encouraging anyone who is eligible for a free flu vaccination to book an appointment with their GP or pharmacist, as soon as they receive an invitation. All clinics will run in line with infection prevention control and social distancing measures will be in place.

Everything you need to know about flu vaccinations is on the NHS website. You can also hear faith and community leaders explain the benefits of getting a vaccination in a series of videos in English, Urdu, Bengali, Arabic, Punjabi and Pashto.

Make healthier choices

A range of support and services to help you keep healthy

Keep warm

When cold weather arrives, deaths among older people and at-risk groups can rise considerably. You can help prevent this rise:

  • keep your home warm. Your main living room should be 18-21C (65-70F) and the rest of the house no lower than 16C (61F)
  • layer your clothing to stay warm & stay inside during cold periods if you have heart or respiratory problems
  • check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they're warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food & medicines so they don't need to go out during very cold weather.

If you're worried about a relative or elderly neighbour, contact your local council or contact Age UK.

For more tips to keep warm in very cold weather visit our page or the NHS webpages.

Eat well and move more

Eating well will give you the energy to stay warm. Have as many hot meals as possible, drink regularly and follow a healthy diet.

Keeping fit will also improve your overall health, helping you to look and feel your best and fend off illness.

Supporting mental health concerns

Feelings of being low, anxious, stressed and depressed can strike anyone at any age. One in five people over the age of 65 are affected by depression with symptoms such as tiredness, weight loss and problems sleeping. But it can be treated successfully.

There is a free, confidential NHS service called Talking Space Plus to support older people, families and carers to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

Go to the Talking Space Plus website for more information.

Advice for an illness or injury

Use this guide to choose the right NHS service if you need advice for an illness or injury. Choosing the right NHS service will help you get the best advice quickest and reduce the pressure on A&E and GP services, freeing them up to help those who need it most.