While things will be a little different this winter, the NHS is still here to help should you suddenly fall ill or get injured.
We’re still open
Health services are open but may be operating in a different way – to keep you and our staff safe. Social distancing and infection control procedures mean there is less space in GP and A&E waiting rooms. Please help your local NHS by using the most appropriate service.
Face coverings are compulsory in all healthcare settings to protect you and our staff. Children under 11 and those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability do not have to wear a face covering.
If you have coronavirus symptoms – such as a high temperature, loss of taste or smell or a new continuous cough – stay home, self-isolate and visit the NHS website. You can also phone 111 for advice or 119 to book a coronavirus test.
If you need help in a life threatening emergency please tell the 999 call taker that you have symptoms (or have tested positive for coronavirus) and mention this to paramedics on arrival.
This service is for people who:
- Need medical care fast, but it’s not an emergency
- Don’t know who to call for medical help
- Think they need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
- Need health information or reassurance about what to do next
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Go to 111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only) or call 111.
NHS 111 (BSL) interpreter service. You can also call 18001 111 on a textphone.
Your pharmacist can provide a wide range of support, without having to make an appointment including:
- Providing information and advice on the safe and effective use of medicines that have been prescribed by your GP
- Providing you with self-care advice on coughs, colds or other minor ailments
- Providing you with advice on healthier lifestyles, such as stopping smoking and sexual health
- Providing advice about the disposal of unwanted medicines
- Signposting you to other services or support organisations.
The way you access your practice has changed. Your initial appointment may be over the telephone or by video. A face-to-face appointment will be offered if necessary.
Get in touch with your GP practice if you have concerns regarding ongoing conditions, ear discharge / pain, rashes, and stomach aches. If you have any cancer symptoms such as a lump in your breast, changes in bowel habits, blood in your pee or poo, unexplained weight loss, moles that appear to change or cough that you’ve had for three weeks or more, you should get them checked out.
999 / A&E
These services should only be used for life or limb-threatening serious illness or injury. Please help other people by avoiding calling 999 or visiting A&E or emergency department unless it really is necessary.
Urgent dental treatment
Do not contact your GP surgery as they they cannot provide dental services.
- phone your dentist – do not visit the dental surgery without an appointment
- use the NHS 111 online service if you cannot contact your dentist or you do not have one.
Mental health services
If you’re registered with a GP practice in Kirklees call 0800 183 0558. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and people don’t have to have used mental health services before. Carers, or those concerned about a loved one or friend, can also call for advice.
Stay well this winter
The return of the cold weather doesn’t have to mean more illnesses. Follow our simple tips and help us help you stay well this winter.
- Stay warm – might sound obvious but staying warm during cold winter spells can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and pneumonia. There is more information in the ‘Keep Warm, Keep Well‘ leaflet that has been produced.
- Eat well – try to avoid unhealthy comfort food, healthy food is a great source of energy which will help you keep warm and help you get the nutrients and vitamins needed to stay well
- Get a flu jab – the flu vaccination is offered free of charge to certain groups to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications
- A well-stocked medicine cabinet will help you deal with minor illnesses and ailments throughout the winter period. Here are some of our essentials.
- Know how to look after yourself and where to get further help and advice when you need it
- Visit your local pharmacy for advice about a range of common winter ailments including aches and pains, sore throat, coughs, colds, flu and earache
- Check the pharmacy opening hours over the bank holiday
- Is it a cold or is it flu? Know the difference between the two and understand how you can treat these common conditions at home
- Information if you have flu or the norovirus (winter vomiting bug)
- Choose the right NHS service. If you need medical help but it’s not a 999 emergency, call NHS 111 for advice and support. This leaflet provides signposting advice and provides guidance on what to have in your medicine cabinet.
- Easy read guide to NHS 111, including how to contact NHS 111 for urgent medical problems.
- GP extended access– GP appointments are available evening and weekends. These are also available on bank holidays including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Speak to your GP practice to make an appointment.
- What to do in a flood – Advice from the flood information service
- Printable posters and leaflets are available here:
Keep up to date with the latest weather forecast
Children, people with long term conditions and older people are more likely to experience problems in cold weather so it’s important to be prepared for cold and icy weather. The Met Office has a system in place to alert people when there is likely to be any extreme weather that could have an impact on their health as well as providing information. You can access the latest weather warning on alerts on the Met Office website or by following them on Twitter (@MetOffice).
Age UK's top tips for keeping warm and well
Kirklees Council's winter information
Winter driving checklist
Kirklees Council has information on its website here that can help you reduce the risk of flooding. You’ll also find a ten minute household emergency plan template and an emergency flooding checklist that can help you be prepared and minimise your risk. Further information can also be found on the national website here.
Get ready for winter
Choosing the right service
Winter is an extremely busy time of year for NHS services, so it’s important to use the right services if you are ill. If you do need medical help but it’s not a 999 emergency, please remember that you can ring NHS 111 for advice 24/7.
Choosing which service is right for you at a given time may not always be easy – often you have more than one option. Click here to find out which service is right for you.
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