We do everything we can to ensure we are well prepared for winter and we are asking residents to take a few small steps to make sure that when severe winter weather strikes you are prepared and able to manage.
Follow these steps to help you stay safer, warm and well throughout winter:
- Get your flu jab – find out if you are eligible to receive a free flu jab.
- Stock up on grit from your local DIY store, to clear your drive or front path.
- Try to stock up on food essentials; long life milk, bread in the freezer and make sure you have enough medication.
- If you, your child, or someone you care for starts to feel ill, first of all get help and advice for treating cold and flu symptoms from your local pharmacy. Don't go to A&E unless you have an emergency, if you are in any doubt call 111 for help and advice to get the right treatment.
- Make sure you are receiving the benefits you are entitled to. Find out if you may be eligible for extra help such as Winter Fuel Payments.
- Ask your energy supplier about their Priority Services Register, a service for older and disabled people.
- Make sure you keep your living room warm throughout the day and heat your bedroom before going to bed. To minimise the risks to their health, sedentary people should wear warm clothing indoors and have their homes heated to at least 18°C (65F).
- Stay inside in bad weather if you don’t have to go out. If you are going outside, make sure you wear shoes with good treads and wrap up warm.
- Try to arrange someone in advance to put your bin out in wintry conditions if you are unable to.
- Make sure your electric blanket is safe to use by getting it tested - the Fire Brigade, Trading Standards and Age UK can test your electric blanket for safety.
- Never use an electric blanket and a hot water bottle together as you could electrocute yourself.
- Keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours who may be more susceptible to the cold weather, especially if they suffer from any ongoing medical conditions.
- Get repeat prescriptions filled in advance during severe weather and be aware that many surgeries and pharmacies will close over the Christmas and New Year period.
- If you can get outside for a walk during the day in winter you'll not only maintain your fitness you'll be helping to banish the winter blues. Remember to wear thin layers of cotton, wool or fleecy fibres to keep you warm.
- You'll naturally feel more tired during the winter, it's important to have a good night's sleep but eating your five-a-day fruit and veg will also help boost your energy levels.
'Choose Well' this winter
As the NHS gears up for another busy winter, health professionals across Lancashire are appealing to people to consider how they use NHS services.
Choose Well will help you make the right choice to ensure you get the right medical care, as soon as possible. It explains what each NHS service does, and when it should be used. It also allows busy NHS services to help the people who need them most.
During the winter, A&E departments are under a lot of pressure. Don't go to A&E unless you have an emergency, if you are in any doubt call 111 for help and advice to get the right treatment. A&E and 999 calls should only be used for life-threatening and emergency conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes and serious injuries.
Download the NHS Choose Well leaflet (PDF 265KB) for more information.