With cold weather on the way, your local NHS is once again preparing for a busy winter.
This time of year puts additional pressure on the health service - winter bugs are circulating and low temperatures can make some people’s long-term health conditions worse.
If you or a family member is feeling unwell, there are lots of ways in which you can get the right help quickly:
- Call NHS 111. If you need urgent medical help, day or night, this is the number to dial. The fully trained NHS 111 advisers - supported in the call centre by GPs and nurses - will ask questions to assess your symptoms and get you the help you need.
- See your local pharmacist. Don’t wait until you feel worse - talk to a pharmacist first. They are experts in medicines and can recommend something that might ease your symptoms. There are more than 200 pharmacies in Hertfordshire and each has a consulting room if you would like to talk to the pharmacist in private.
- See a GP in the evenings and at weekends. Surgeries are working together in the local area to offer patients extra evening and weekend GP appointments. Contact your surgery for more information about how to book one of these ‘extended access’ appointments.
One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself and others healthy this winter is have a flu vaccination. The flu jab is free from your GP if you’re aged 65 or over, have a long-term health condition such as diabetes, heart disease or asthma or are pregnant. Children aged between 2 and 4 can also have their flu nasal spray at their GP practice, and children from reception to Year 5 can have their vaccination at school.
For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.