How to keep well this Christmas and New Year

As Christmas approaches, Hampshire County Council is sharing Public Health advice for keeping healthy and well during the festive period

Dec 12 2023

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Lead Member for Adult Services and Public Health at Hampshire County Council, said: “This time of year can be difficult for some people, especially those who are older, isolated or may be vulnerable due to a health condition. Cold and unpredictable weather along with holiday closures can make it difficult to access services in the normal way. Therefore, I would encourage residents to follow Public Health advice and plan ahead to minimise any holiday disruptions and make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe and well this Christmas and New Year. 

“This time of year can also have an impact on how people feel emotionally. It is important to look after your own mental and emotional wellbeing as well as those around you. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are proven, simple ways to help you do this - and include connecting with others and staying physically active. For additional support and guidance, visit Mental Wellbeing Hampshire.”

Public Health advice for a healthy Christmas and New Year:

  • Get vaccinated for free, if eligible. COVID-19 and flu are serious illnesses that can make some people very unwell. If you or your loved ones are eligible for free vaccinations, make sure these are up to date to help protect against viruses. 
  • Stock up on medicines. Check your prescriptions and ensure you have an adequate supply to last through the holidays when services are reduced or closed. 
  • Keep warm. A cold home can increase the risk of health issues, particularly for more vulnerable people. Aim to the heat rooms where you spend most time to at least 18°C (65°F). For help heating homes visit the Hitting the Cold Spots website.
  • Coughs, colds and seasonal illnesses among children are to be expected at this time of year. Parents and guardians can use the Healthier Together website and app - which has been developed by local clinicians - for advice on all the most common childhood illnesses.
  • For medical advice or assistance that is not an emergency, contact NHS 111 or a local pharmacy. These services can advise on many minor winter illnesses that you can manage at home.

National Booking System closing

The National Booking System (NBS), NHS App and 119 phone service will close for flu and COVID-19 vaccination bookings on 15 December. This makes 14 December the last day to make a booking through NBS. After this date, those who are eligible to have the vaccines for free can contact their GP practice or community pharmacy for help with booking an appointment. People can continue booking the COVID-19 vaccine through local services until 31 January 2024, and flu jabs will continue to be given until the end of March 2024.

Residents can also use the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID vaccination helpline on 0300 561 0018 for support and advice on COVID-19 vaccinations. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 1pm. 

Further guidance

For more information about keeping warm and well over winter visit the Hampshire and Isle of Wight NHS website