As the dark nights draw in across Wiltshire and winter really starts to bite, it’s worth thinking about how we can all make sure we’re looking after ourselves and staying well over the cold winter months. The NHS recently launched its annual winter campaign – Help Us Help You – which is here to help make it easier to understand the things you can do. We all know hospitals and surgeries can be especially busy during the winter months and it can often be tricky to know the best place to go for help, so here are some handy tips to see you through until the spring . . .

  1. It’s not too late to get your flu jab . . .

The free flu vaccination is offered to those who are at increased risk from the effects of flu, including people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, those with underlying health conditions and children aged 2-10. If you’ve not had one yet, it’s not too late – find out more here.

  1. Call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk online . . .

If you’re unsure where to go and think you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not life-threatening, contacting NHS 111 can help you make sure you reach the most suitable NHS service for your needs.

  1. Ask a pharmacist for advice before minor ailments or winter illnesses get worse . . .

Community pharmacists are qualified healthcare professional who can offer clinical advice and over the counter medicines to safely manage things like coughs, colds and sore throats. It’s quick and convenient to see a pharmacist– you don’t need to book an appointment and can often be seen in a private consultation room.

  1. See your GP in the evening or weekend if you can’t see them during the day . . .

If you need to see a GP but find it hard to find the time during routine hours, appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professionals are often available in the evenings and at weekends through many local practices or other local NHS services.

For more information about services in your area, visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk/local-services