Help with staying well over winter

Rising cases of common winter illnesses are putting additional pressure on local health services at what is an already extremely busy time.

People can protect themselves, as well as others, from conditions such as norovirus, flu and Covid-19 by staying at home when feeling unwell and following a good personal hygiene regime, which includes washing hands with soap and water and catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue.

Those who show symptoms of norovirus, such as sickness, nausea or diarrhoea, should stay home until at least 48 hours after feeling better.  This is because people can still be infectious to others once the physical symptoms of the virus have ended.

Vaccinations for flu and Covid-19 continue to be available from many community pharmacies across the region, and those who are eligible can find their nearest vaccine centre online on the BSW Together website.

People suffering with common winter ailments, including coughs, colds and sore throats, are advised to manage their symptoms at home through rest and with medicines that can be bought over the counter, such as paracetamol. Pharmacists can also provide expert clinical advice on how to treat symptoms. Find your local pharmacy.

The NHS is always here to help you – but people are being asked to use services wisely to make sure you can get the most appropriate support and help us to help you.

We want to make sure you get seen in the right place, at the right time by the right healthcare professional.

If you are not sure what help you may need, 111 online can advise. There are also pharmacies which are open across the area during the festive period and in the evening.

For more information on the services available to you this winter, take a look at our winter healthcare page which gathers together lots of helpful resources and information