Your local NHS is still here for you

Please be reassured that that your local NHS in Halton and Warrington is still here to help you.

We have made changes to how we provide care to make it safer for you during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re worried about your health, please don’t delay – help us, help you get the care you need.

In life-threatening emergencies, always dial 999.

If you need medical help fast or think you need to go to A&E, use NHS 111 first to get clinical advice or direction to the most appropriate services for treatment.

NHS 111 is now able to book time slots for patients at Widnes Urgent Care Centre and Runcorn Urgent Care Centre and local A&E departments if appropriate.

For all other health needs, contact your pharmacy or GP practice by phone or eConsult (an online form on your practice website) in the first instance GP practices.

If you experience symptoms of Coronavirus please visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus to arrange to get tested or call 119.

Pharmacy shelves

Your medicine cabinet 

Make sure that you have the essentials in your medicine cabinet. Many over-the-counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibuprofen) are available to relieve symptoms of common minor ailments such as colds, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache).

You can find a list of useful items to include in your medicine cabinet and first aid kit at nhs.uk or by speaking to your local pharmacist.

To manage minor ailment symptoms at home, you should keep warm, rest, drink plenty of fluids, have at least one hot meal a day to keep your energy levels up and use over-the-counter medications to help give relief.

You can order your repeat prescriptions online via the NHS App, your GP practice website or by calling your practice.

Please don’t go to a pharmacy if you have symptoms of coronavirus or are self-isolating. Order your prescription online or by phone and ask a friend, relative or volunteer to collect medicines for you.

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Let's get vaccinated

The flu virus strikes in winter and it can be far more serious than you think. Flu can lead to serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and it can be deadly. Find out if you should have a flu vaccine at www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine or contact your GP or pharmacist.

All adults are now eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.  Remember to book in for your first and second jabs.

Information on the vaccine is available at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine

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Keep warm

Keeping warm whilst it is still wintry, can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.

Make sure you keep warm with these tips

  • Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). You might prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer.
  • Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights as breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
  • Wear several layers of light clothes as this traps warm air better than one bulky layer.
  • Make sure you’re receiving all the help that you’re entitled to. There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills.
  • Check your heating and cooking appliances are safe. Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they’re operating properly.

Useful information

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Keep active

There’s strong evidence that people who are active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia.

Regular exercise can also reduce the risk of falling and can be beneficial for recovery if you do get ill. Try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down during the day. Break up your time spent being inactive by walking around your home or standing up from your chair during TV advert breaks or when you’re on the phone.

There are many activities you could do at home, such as walking up and down stairs, dancing, gardening, housework, or taking part in online fitness classes. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something you enjoy and keeps you moving.

Don’t do anything though that doesn’t feel comfortable and trust your instincts about your own limits. Stop if you are feeling any pain or lightheaded and stay hydrated.

For tips on keeping active go to:

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Look after your mental health

We all feel down from time to time, no matter our age. But, if you’ve not been feeling yourself for a while, talking therapies could help you feel better. Contact your GP practice about talking therapies if you’re feeling anxious, low or out of sorts. Your GP is there to help you – physically and mentally – and can refer you to the right service.

Other useful resources

Check on vulnerable neighbours and relatives

As temperatures drop, it is important we check on older neighbours and relatives, and those with heart or breathing (respiratory) problems.

Being cold can result in the risk of increasing blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can also aggravate any existing health problems and make them more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses.

It’s important to make sure that they are safe and well, are warm enough, especially at night and have stocks of food and medicines so they do not need to go out during very cold weather.

A simple chat over the phone or a socially distanced chat over the doorstep may just offer the essential support that person needs.

If you're concerned the person may have hypothermia, contact NHS 111.

Useful information